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J'AIME May 2018

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M AY 2 0 1 8<br />

J’AIME<br />

Y O U R L O C A L L U X U R Y L I F E S T Y L E M A G A Z I N E<br />

Spring style solutions<br />

for home and garden<br />

WIN<br />

TICKETS TO<br />

BIRMINGHAM’S<br />

SUMMER BBC<br />

GOOD FOOD<br />

SHOW<br />

Work from home:<br />

creating a stylish<br />

office space<br />

POTTERY PERFECTION<br />

FROM A LICHFIELD<br />

CERAMIC DESIGNER


Welcome to J’AIME<br />

The sun is shining at J’AIME HQ, and<br />

we’re getting into the summer spirit with a<br />

feast of fantastic features to get you ready<br />

for the season ahead. Whether is dining<br />

inspiration, a wardrobe update or ideas to<br />

revamp your home and garden, J’AIME has<br />

it covered.<br />

This month we chat to a duo of Alrewas<br />

entrepreneurs whose innovative simulator<br />

technology is a game-changer for<br />

motorsports gaming enthusiasts - and you<br />

could win a gaming experience at their<br />

showroom.<br />

We also catch up with talented Lichfield<br />

potter Carla Murdoch who, when she’s not<br />

teaching students at Lichfield college, creates<br />

contemporary crafts from her home studio.<br />

We’ve headed off the beaten path this month<br />

to discover a gem of a dining destination<br />

pub on the edge of the Peak District - it’s<br />

worth the trip, we promise! Elsewhere, as<br />

BBc Good Food Show and Gardeners’<br />

World Live get set to return to the NEC this<br />

summer, we’ve got five pairs of tickets up<br />

for grabs. Catch the likes of Michel Roux Jr,<br />

Tom Kerridge and Alan Titchmarsh over<br />

four packed days - it’s the perfect day out for<br />

foodies and garden enthusiasts alike.<br />

Our wine expert showcases some Italian<br />

whites which may have you putting down the<br />

pinot grigio and reaching for something new,<br />

and we’ve also got recipe and cocktail ideas<br />

for you to try at home.<br />

Congratulations are in order for our latest<br />

winner; Malcolm Cureton of Lichfield<br />

scooped a year of music lessons courtesy of<br />

Partridge Brothers Music Centre at Heart of<br />

the Country, Swinfen.<br />

EDITOR: AMY NORBURY<br />

EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

ADVERTISING: JAN ASHLEY<br />

ADVERTISING@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

07388 335 931<br />

DESIGN: DESIGN@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

CONTRIBUTORS: MARTIN PLOWMAN,<br />

HARRIET LOVATT, EMMA STONE, LISA PIDDINGTON,<br />

JILL HARTLEY, MICHAEL BALLANCE<br />

J’AIME IS PUBLISHED BY ASHBURY<br />

PUBLICATIONS LIMITED AND PRINTED<br />

BY KEP LIMITED, TAMWORTH.<br />

Check us out online at:<br />

WWW.JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

Find us on<br />

/JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

@JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

@JAIMEMAGAZINE<br />

3


CONTENTS<br />

InsideJ’aime this month...<br />

6 Carla Murdoch - Creative ceramics from a<br />

Lichfield designer-maker<br />

12 Property - Property of the month<br />

14 Interiors - Home office style<br />

18 Interiors - Go green<br />

22 Gardens - Creating an outdoor sanctuary<br />

26 Competition - Win tickets to the summer BBC Good<br />

Food Show and Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC<br />

30 Food and drink - Reviewing The<br />

Duncombe Arms<br />

32 Food and drink - A mouth-watering recipe to try<br />

at home<br />

34 Food and drink - Cocktail of the month from<br />

Le Rêve<br />

36 Food and drink - Trying a different Italian white<br />

40 Food and drink - Cafe International brings<br />

street food galore to Lichfield<br />

44 Travel - A Dalmatian discovery<br />

48 Competition - Win a motorsport gaming<br />

experience with Alrewas-based Symdeck<br />

52 What’s On - Our pick of events around our<br />

area this month<br />

56 What’s On - The hottest tickets around<br />

Birmingham<br />

58 Fashion - Denim revisited<br />

60 Fashion - Nero e Bianco put their best foot<br />

forward<br />

63 Beauty - Skincare saviours from Harvey<br />

Nichols Birmingham<br />

64 In the news - Say ‘I do’ to dance ; and a<br />

charity donation<br />

65 Motors - Tamworth racing driver Martin<br />

Plowman looks at an innovative charity<br />

4


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FEATURE<br />

Pottery perfection<br />

LICHFIELD DESIGNER-MAKER CARLA MURDOCH’S PASSION FOR POTTERY SEES HER CREATE<br />

STYLISH, CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS - AS WELL AS SHARE HER SKILLS WITH OTHERS.<br />

AMY NORBURY DISCOVERS MORE<br />

CONTEMPORARY TABLEWARE IS<br />

CARLA’S SPECIAITY<br />

The instant Carla Murdoch got her hands on her<br />

first lump of clay, she was smitten. As a teenager<br />

studying A Levels in her native Sheffield, Carla took<br />

the bold decision to ditch traditional academics in<br />

favour of more creative pursuits. And that step has<br />

paid off in spades.<br />

Today, Carla is passing on her love of all things<br />

ceramics to groups of students, teaching pottery and<br />

sculpture at South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield<br />

campus. And when she’s not in the classroom, Carla<br />

can be found creating her own brand of stylish,<br />

contemporary ceramics from her studio at the<br />

Burntwood home she shares with her partner Pete,<br />

an interior designer, house bunny Florence and ducks<br />

Henrietta and Ferdinand.<br />

The garage workshop houses Carla’s precious kiln,<br />

where her creations are transformed from raw clay<br />

into beautifully fired and glazed pieces. Shelves are<br />

adorned with pottery in each stage of the making<br />

process; clay drying out ready for the kiln, items<br />

which have gone through the first - or biscuit - firing<br />

and, finally, all glazed and finished.<br />

A sunny conservatory provides a second workspace,<br />

which is home to Carla’s potters wheel and which<br />

also showcases a variety of her makes. Something of<br />

a pottery magpie, Carla also collects other potters’<br />

work, proudly displaying her own pieces alongside<br />

works from her favourite makers.<br />

“I’ve got boxes of it dotted around the house too,”<br />

laughs Carla, who’s a member of the Midlands<br />

Potters’ Association. “There’s a lot going on at the<br />

moment.”<br />

A whirlwind of creative flair, Carla always knew she<br />

was destined for an artistic career, although her first<br />

foray was not pottery, but graphics.<br />

“I was studying graphics, psychology and biology<br />

at sixth form - a real random mix - and I just didn’t<br />

enjoy it,” the 30-year-old explains.<br />

“I needed to be doing something completely creative;<br />

as much as I love science, and psychology interests<br />

6


me, I just can’t apply it academically.”<br />

So two weeks before she was due to return to sixth<br />

form, Carla headed down to her local college to<br />

see what was on offer. She signed up for a graphics<br />

course, which also included tasters of other<br />

disciplines, including fashion, textiles, woodwork<br />

and - fatefully - pottery.<br />

“About eight weeks into the course we did pottery;<br />

I touched it and that was it, I loved it,” says Carla.<br />

“My tutor was fabulous; she was absolutely<br />

crackers - most potters tend to be a bit loopy. She<br />

encouraged me to apply for a university course,<br />

which is something I’d never considered.”<br />

Carla’s undeniable talent saw her beat off some<br />

500 applicants to land one of just 12 places on a<br />

glass and ceramics degree course at the University<br />

of Sunderland.<br />

“It was meant to be,” says Carla. “I do believe in<br />

fate; I don’t tend to plan too much, I prefer to let<br />

things happen.”<br />

By the time her course had finished, Carla was<br />

hooked. She bought a kiln and set up a small studio<br />

at her parents’ home in Sheffield, making “lots of<br />

porcelain bits and pieces” and connecting with other<br />

local makers.<br />

But six years ago, after a stint travelling, Carla made<br />

the move from Sheffield to Burntwood to be with<br />

Pete and took on an admin job which zapped her of<br />

all her creativity.<br />

CARLA’S STUDIO SPACE<br />

“I just wasn’t making,” says Carla. “Other than for<br />

friends’ birthdays and Christmas decorations, I had<br />

no inspiration and I couldn’t get myself back into it.”<br />

As an attempt to get the creative juices flowing, Carla<br />

signed up to an evening course at Lichfield college -<br />

the very same course she now teaches.<br />

But her making block didn’t seem to shift and, during<br />

a period where she had completely had enough,<br />

Carla sold her potters wheel. But that niggly feeling<br />

that pottery was her true calling wouldn’t leave. On a<br />

trip to Scandinavia with Pete, Carla was enamoured<br />

by the abundance of stylish ceramics and returned<br />

home with renewed enthusiasm.<br />

She decided to sign back up to the college course<br />

but was told it would be starting late because they<br />

didn’t have a tutor available. It was Carla’s lightbulb<br />

moment.<br />

“I thought that maybe I could apply for the teaching<br />

role,” she says. “When I went online I discovered I<br />

didn’t have a qualification they were asking for but<br />

there was also a technician role so I went for that. I<br />

also asked to apply for the teaching role anyway but<br />

never received the application form.<br />

“I got an interview straight away and they asked<br />

me why I hadn’t applied for the teaching role and<br />

wanted to interview me for it too. I ended up getting<br />

both jobs.”<br />

While her teaching and technician jobs make up<br />

a full-time role during term time, Carla has found<br />

herself fully reinvigorated creatively.<br />

“Since then I’ve got back into it, and now I can’t<br />

stop,” says Carla. “I’ve had to go back and re-teach<br />

myself certain aspects like learning the wheel again.<br />

I wasn’t great on it anyway because I didn’t focus on<br />

7


TOOLS OF THE TRADE<br />

it at uni, I did more slip-casting, so I’ve had to selfteach<br />

so I can then teach my students.<br />

“I have all kinds of people coming through my<br />

classes; they’re aged from 20 to 95! And everyone<br />

has a different reason for being there. I’ve got people<br />

who’ve been coming for 30-plus years so it’s just part<br />

of their everyday routine, and there’s a group of<br />

ladies who come along on a Wednesday afternoon<br />

really to socialise. They make fabulous things and<br />

they’ve got such good skills, but since they’re all<br />

retired it’s more about keeping the brain switched on<br />

and keeping in touch with the community.<br />

“My Wednesday classes don’t involve much teaching;<br />

I’m more of a facilitator and the students come in to<br />

use the space and just get on with what they want to<br />

do. They may ask me a few technical questions but<br />

they really know what they’re doing.<br />

“A lot of people have joined up to class because a<br />

few other colleges locally have stopped doing pottery<br />

classes, which is a huge shame. We’re now one of the<br />

few local colleges which offer pottery. I have 80 to 90<br />

students a week, so it’s a task keeping track of where<br />

everyone is and what everyone’s doing.<br />

“It’s also a very physical job. You’re carrying bags<br />

of clay and buckets of clay around, and then there’s<br />

the wedging (which is working the clay to remove air<br />

pockets before you can use it) and working on the<br />

wheel - it’s all great exercise.”<br />

Carla has also seen a spike in students in the wake of<br />

popular BBC show The Great Pottery Throwdown.<br />

Hosted by Sara Cox and with master<br />

potters Kate Malone and Keith Brymer<br />

Jones as judges, the show was filmed at<br />

Stoke-on-Trent’s Middleport Pottery<br />

and became a surprise hit.<br />

“The only thing that annoys me about<br />

the Throwdown is that it gives people<br />

such an unrealistic expectation of what<br />

can be achieved in a two-and-a-half<br />

hour class,” says Carla, who confesses<br />

she never watched the show herself.<br />

“You see people on the show rolling out<br />

their pieces, which might only take ten<br />

minutes, but then they have to leave<br />

them to dry for three hours before they<br />

come back to work on them for another<br />

two or so hours.<br />

“In class, people have to remember<br />

that they won’t be coming back until<br />

next week so I have to tailor people’s<br />

expectations of what they can actually<br />

do within our class timeframe.”<br />

Patience, says Carla, is the key to<br />

learning pottery skills. Her courses focus on the<br />

simpler process of hand-building to start, before<br />

students are let loose on the wheel to hone their<br />

throwing skills.<br />

“At least with the hand-building, people have<br />

something tangible to take home,” says Carla.<br />

“When they’re on the wheel, it can all go wrong in<br />

seconds. With hand-building you have much more<br />

control.<br />

“And people wonder why they don’t ‘get’ the wheel<br />

straight away; throwing is an incredibly difficult skill<br />

and it takes a lot of time and practice to get it right.”<br />

8


CARLA - WITH THE HELP OF BUNNY<br />

FLORENCE -SHOWCASES A RANGE OF<br />

HER DESIGNS<br />

Carla’s wheel is her pride and joy, and her current<br />

creations focus on throwing, rather than handbuilding.<br />

“I’m mainly wheel-based at the moment; it’s a skill I<br />

want to work on, and I want to be able to throw big,”<br />

says Carla. “I’ve been building up my size, so I’m at<br />

around five to six pounds of clay on the wheel at the<br />

moment, and it’s very hard to work that much clay.<br />

“On the wheel I like to make the functional stuff like<br />

the tableware. I love food; I live to eat and I like to<br />

incorporate the two with some nice food in a nice<br />

bowl - it makes your food taste better!<br />

“Plates are so hard though, that’s the<br />

one thing I’m still trying to master and I<br />

won’t let it defeat me! There’s one potter I<br />

follow on Instagram who has been doing<br />

it for three or four years and is only just<br />

starting to sell plates.<br />

“They take up so much space in the kiln;<br />

they take up a whole shelf so you can’t<br />

get anything else dotted around them.<br />

And I go up to quite a high temperature<br />

so if your base isn’t quite right you get a<br />

wobbly plate which warps, or sometimes<br />

they even just tear in the middle.<br />

“They crack when they’re drying before<br />

you’ve even put them in the kiln, they<br />

crack in the biscuit firing and then they<br />

can crack in the final firing. So until the<br />

final piece comes out I never get too<br />

excited!”<br />

As well as being a rather therapeutic pursuit,<br />

pottery can be highly emotive, explains<br />

Carla.<br />

“Potters often meditate before they get on<br />

the wheel, especially in Asia,” she says. “I<br />

don’t meditate myself but sometimes when<br />

I’ve been at work under niggly bright lights<br />

all day I get headaches, or if I’m not feeling<br />

100 per cent I just can’t be on the wheel. It<br />

just doesn’t happen. If I’m not in the first<br />

frame of mind or in a positive mood it’s<br />

a disaster. So that’s when I do my coiling<br />

instead, which I can do no problem. But<br />

when I’m in a good frame of mind I can’t<br />

do coiling, I need to be on the wheel, so it’s<br />

a good balance.”<br />

Pottery has helped Carla to develop a thick<br />

skin and a resilience when it comes to things<br />

not going to plan.<br />

“There’s so much failure,” she laughs. “I’m<br />

at a point that I can put a firing on and if it<br />

goes wrong and doesn’t come out properly<br />

it doesn’t matter. Things might break in the kiln, or<br />

when you glaze things if you haven’t tested the glazes<br />

properly they might be a disaster.<br />

“It’s all a process. If it does work you learn things<br />

from it, and if it doesn’t work again you learn things<br />

from it, perhaps to try a different temperature or to<br />

cool it down slower. It is just one big learning curve,<br />

and even as a teacher and professional maker I’m still<br />

always learning.”<br />

9


The latest project has involved testing different glazes<br />

which, Carla says, appeals to her scientific side.<br />

“I’ve got one base glaze which is very reliable and<br />

you add a few different oxides to it and it comes out<br />

nicely. But if you get a weight slightly wrong it will<br />

come out differently, or if you dip the brush in the<br />

wrong oxide it will change that glaze,” she explains.<br />

“And glazes turn out completely differently on<br />

different clays too.<br />

“I just did some testing and I’ve managed to get<br />

pinks and purples, which I don’t want - I was hoping<br />

for turquoise! I used cobalts and coppers in there,<br />

so the green and the blue together should’ve made<br />

a really nice turquoise but because I’ve used a<br />

dolomite-based glaze, cobalt goes purple or pink in<br />

it. So I’m back to square one.<br />

“I do my glaze testing on a very small scale to start<br />

with so if it goes wrong I’m not wasting too much,<br />

then if it works I do it on a bigger scale. It’s all a<br />

science, which I really love. I get to be a scientist and<br />

be creative; the two come together.”<br />

Carla is currently making stock for her next craft fair,<br />

the inaugural Hepworth Wakefield Contemporary<br />

Ceramics Fair in her native Yorkshire which runs<br />

from <strong>May</strong> 5 to 6. And closer to home, she will be<br />

running a pop-up shop at Bore Street Bakery on July<br />

7 with fellow Lichfield designer-maker Katie Figiel<br />

of Copper and Solder to coincide with the Lichfield<br />

Festival.<br />

And you may have already spotted some of Carla’s<br />

wares around the city; she was commissioned by<br />

coffee shop Melbourne in Lichfield to create a range<br />

of 12oz coffee cups.<br />

“It was a good thing for me because I’ve never<br />

thrown with such a requirement; I usually just get<br />

on the wheel and see where it takes me and what<br />

I can do,” explains Carla. “But this made me be<br />

able to repetitive throw and get a specific size from<br />

something which shrinks as it dries,<br />

shrinks in the first firing and shrinks in<br />

the glaze firing.<br />

“It was a total challenge - but in a good<br />

way. And it’s nice to see the people of<br />

Lichfield drinking from the cups I’ve<br />

made.”<br />

Bore Street Bakery already use some of<br />

Carla’s pieces to showcase their baked<br />

goodies, and she is currently working with<br />

Lichfield chef Liam Dillon to potentially<br />

provide items for The Boat Inn.<br />

“It’s so lovely to be a part of the Lichfield<br />

community. There’s a real creative,<br />

foodie hub in the city now, which is really<br />

exciting.”<br />

For more details visit<br />

Carla’s website at www.<br />

carlamurdochceramics.co.uk or<br />

find Carla Murdoch Ceramics on<br />

Instagram.<br />

10


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PROPERTY<br />

Property of the Month<br />

WE TAKE A SNEAKY PEEK AT SOME OF THE HOTTEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET IN<br />

THE AREA EACH MONTH. THIS MONTH’S SELECTION IS A COUNTRYSIDE HOME WHERE<br />

PERIOD FEATURES MEET CONTEMPORARY STYLE<br />

Park Cottage, Drayton Lane, Drayton Bassett: £1,450,000<br />

On the market with Hunters: 0121 355 0555<br />

THE AGENT SAYS: Park Cottage occupies a truly<br />

delightful location in a mature parkland setting adjacent to<br />

Drayton Park Golf Club and is approached from Drayton<br />

Lane via a long private driveway situated to the right of the<br />

church near to Heathley Lane.<br />

Originally a game keeper’s cottage and forming part of<br />

the Peel Estate the property has, in recent years, undergone<br />

an extensive remodelling programme with sympathetic<br />

additions. Very impressive in appearance with most attractive<br />

and distinctive elevations, the property enjoys a delightful<br />

mature woodland setting standing in landscaped grounds<br />

with sweeping gravel driveway and electric gated entrance.<br />

Refurbished to an exceptionally high specification, the<br />

interior successfully blends modern luxury alongside many<br />

original features boasting a wealth of unique and thoughtfully<br />

designed characteristics exceeding expectations in a property<br />

of this period.<br />

The kitchen oozes contemporary style, with an extensive<br />

range of units with Corian work surfaces and integrated<br />

Siemens appliances, underfloor heating and bi-fold doors<br />

opening onto the terrace.<br />

With several reception rooms, six bedrooms and five ensuites,<br />

plus a master bathroom, set over three floors, there is<br />

ample space for family life.<br />

Outside, an elevated granite paved patio and large<br />

entertaining area with covered outdoor kitchen provides the<br />

ideal space for entertaining.<br />

W E L O V E : THE WONDERFUL BLEND<br />

OF CONTEMPORARY AND<br />

PERIOD STYLE<br />

12


INTERIORS<br />

HOUSE BY JOHN LEWIS LEANING DESK,<br />

£199. WWW.JOHNLEWIS.COM<br />

Work<br />

it out<br />

WITH more and more people working from home as<br />

self-employment and flexible working remains on the<br />

rise, the demand for a carefully designed office space<br />

has never been higher. But forget boring desks in plain<br />

box rooms; today’s home offices are more homely and<br />

stylish, and much less formal while retaining optimal<br />

functionality.<br />

The centrepiece to any good home office is, of course,<br />

the desk. With ergonomically designed desks available<br />

to fit even the smallest workspace, you can be sure of a<br />

practical, stylish and comfortable working environment.<br />

Add a comfy, supportive chair and plenty of clever<br />

storage solutions to ensure everything is organised and<br />

accessible.<br />

A room that’s appropriately lit has a way of reducing<br />

stress so it’s essential that your office space has good<br />

lighting. Make good use of desk or task lighting to<br />

complement your main light, or to add a boost to the<br />

natural light in your space without being too bright or<br />

overpowering.<br />

£72<br />

£60<br />

ANGLEPOISE PAUL SMITH<br />

TYPE 75 MINI DESK LAMP,<br />

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

£145<br />

MASTER EDWARD WALL<br />

CLOCK, NEWGATE.<br />

WWW.NEWGATECLOCKS.COM<br />

BRASS PENCIL HOLDER,<br />

FERM LIVING AT AMARA.<br />

WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

£37.50<br />

LARGE CONCRETE DESKTOP<br />

PLANTER, FARLO.IO.<br />

WWW.FARLO.IO<br />

14


£39.99<br />

PERSONALISED CUBIST DESK DISPLAY,<br />

WWW.GETTINGPERSONAL.CO.UK<br />

£245<br />

NEWBURY LEATHER CARVER<br />

CHAIR, PEPPERMILL INTERIORS,<br />

BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.<br />

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM<br />

BIGSO MAGNUS GREY DESKTOP<br />

DRAWER, PAPERCHASE.<br />

WWW.PAPERCHASE.CO.UK<br />

£27<br />

£5<br />

£149<br />

GEORGE HOME HOUSE<br />

BLOCK CALENDAR, ASDA.<br />

WWW.ASDA.COM<br />

£40<br />

MARBLE DESK CLOCK,<br />

OLIVER BONAS.<br />

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM<br />

£55<br />

CULT DESIGN MODA VELVET<br />

CHAIR, CULT FURNITURE.<br />

WWW.CULTFURNITURE.COM<br />

TOM DIXON CUBE<br />

STAPLER,<br />

WWW.NEST.CO.UK<br />

HAIRPIN DESK, £180, FARLO.IO.<br />

WWW.FARLO.IO<br />

RIGBY AND MAC YELLOW<br />

FLOOR LAMP, £145, FARLO.IO.<br />

WWW.FARLO.IO


CLARION DESK, £1,775, CHAPLINS<br />

FURNITURE. WWW.CHAPLINS.CO.UK<br />

COPPER TRELLIS WALL GRID, £42.30,<br />

RED CANDY. WWW.REDCANDY.CO.UK<br />

J’AIME<br />

LO VES<br />

BLOOMINGVILLE BILLIE RETRO TABLE<br />

LAMP, £117.50, BEAUMONDE.<br />

WWW.BEAUMONDE.CO.UK


I N T E R I O R S<br />

Greener<br />

pastures<br />

ALREADY this year has been awash with a rich array<br />

of bold colours to transform your interior space. But as<br />

spring arrives with full force and our love affair with all<br />

things botanical and tropical reaches its peak, it’s green<br />

which really stands out as the colour to incorporate for<br />

<strong>2018</strong>.<br />

From the vibrant jewel tones of emerald and jade to<br />

refreshing sage and mint, as well as dark and moody<br />

forest, this summer, it’s all about going green. When<br />

it comes to pattern, we will see a focus on prints with<br />

dark, jungle-esque backgrounds, and leaf prints in<br />

their true, deep green colours.<br />

A palette of different greens works harmoniously to<br />

create a dynamic colour scheme, so don’t be afraid<br />

to mix and match your hues. Go soft and soothing<br />

on walls and fabrics, and add dramatic vibrance with<br />

accessories.<br />

Green upholstery is also set to become a key trend,<br />

particularly plush velvet in eye-catching shades of<br />

forest green, pine and emerald, so if you want to make<br />

a statement, opt for a standout furniture piece in a<br />

bold hue - a perfect pop against a backdrop of crisp,<br />

fresh whites.<br />

BETTY ARMCHAIR IN OLIVE PURE COTTON<br />

MATT VELVET, £590, WWW.SOFA.COM<br />

BRICK LANE ALARM CLOCK, NEWGATE.<br />

WWW.NEWGATECLOCKS.COM<br />

£13.50<br />

£75<br />

VINTAGE STYLE JUG, THE<br />

CONTEMPORARY HOME.<br />

WWW.TCH.NET<br />

A BY AMARA WIDE BASE ROPE<br />

LANTERN, WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

£22<br />

18


倀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀<br />

䤀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀<br />

一 攀 眀 ☀ 嘀 椀 渀 琀 愀 最 攀 䘀 甀 爀 渀 椀 琀 甀 爀 攀 昀 漀 爀 䠀 漀 洀 攀 猀 Ⰰ 䈀 愀 爀 猀 ☀ 刀 攀 猀 琀 愀 甀 爀 愀 渀 琀 猀<br />

嘀 椀 猀 椀 琀 漀 甀 爀 猀 栀 漀 眀 爀 漀 漀 洀 椀 渀 䈀 甀 爀 渀 琀 眀 漀 漀 搀 ℀ 圀 攀 ᤠ 爀 攀 漀 瀀 攀 渀 䴀 漀 渀 搀 愀 礀 琀 漀 匀 愀 琀 甀 爀 搀 愀 礀<br />

唀 渀 椀 琀 㘀 Ⰰ 刀 椀 渀 最 刀 漀 愀 搀 Ⰰ 娀 漀 渀 攀 ㈀Ⰰ 䈀 甀 爀 渀 琀 眀 漀 漀 搀 䈀 甀 猀 椀 渀 攀 猀 猀 倀 愀 爀 欀 Ⰰ 䈀 甀 爀 渀 琀 眀 漀 漀 搀 Ⰰ 圀 匀 㜀 アパート 䨀 儀<br />

眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 瀀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 椀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀 簀 㔀 㐀 アパート アパート 㜀 㔀 㠀 㜀 ㈀ 簀 猀 愀 氀 攀 猀 䀀 瀀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 椀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀<br />

倀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 䤀 渀 琀 攀 爀 椀 漀 爀 猀 椀 猀 愀 琀 爀 愀 搀 椀 渀 最 渀 愀 洀 攀 漀 昀 倀 攀 瀀 瀀 攀 爀 洀 椀 氀 氀 䄀 渀 琀 椀 焀 甀 攀 猀 䰀 琀 搀 ⸀<br />

⨀ 吀 攀 爀 洀 猀 ☀ 挀 漀 渀 搀 椀 琀 椀 漀 渀 猀 愀 瀀 瀀 氀 礀 ⸀


£POA<br />

£110<br />

ORIEL CHAIR, RUME. WWW.RUME.CO.UK<br />

METZ DINING CHAIR, PEPPERMILL<br />

INTERIORS, BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.<br />

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM<br />

£40<br />

A BY AMARA ARCADE<br />

CARNIVAL TRINKET BOX,<br />

WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

AULA NESTING COFFEE TABLE,<br />

WWW.MADE.COM<br />

£399<br />

£20<br />

JOASH SET OF FOUR<br />

GRID TUMBLERS,<br />

WWW.MADE.COM<br />

ALEXANDER AND JAMES ABRAHAM JUNIOR<br />

SOFA, COOKES FURNITURE, BIRMINGHAM.<br />

WWW.COOKESFURNITURE.CO.UK


£POA<br />

BOTANICAL LEAVES 1 MODERN<br />

WALL ART PRINT, MODE PRINTS.<br />

WWW.MODEPRINTS.COM<br />

£599<br />

ELLEN ARMCHAIR,<br />

ESSENTIAL HOME.<br />

WWW.ESSENTIALHOME.EU<br />

£4.50<br />

£16<br />

1882 LTD JENNY MUG,<br />

AMARA. WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

HOWARDIAN KIRKHAM PEACH THROW,<br />

£220, ADRIANA HOMEWARES.<br />

WWW.ADRIANAHOMEWARES.COM<br />

£18<br />

MODENA COLOUR BLOCK<br />

FRAME, OLIVER BONAS.<br />

WWW.OLIVERBONAS.COM<br />

CASSEY CABINET,<br />

WWW.MADE.COM<br />

CONCRETE BASIN,£1,164, RIPPLES BATHROOMS<br />

AT COOKES FURNITURE, BIRMINGHAM.<br />

WWW.COOKESFURNITURE.CO.UK<br />

FRENCH CONNECTION ZINC CUDDLER SOFA<br />

IN LUXE VELVET FOREST GREEN, £849, DFS.<br />

WWW.DFS.CO.UK


G A R D E N<br />

Create<br />

a great<br />

outdoors<br />

AS we head into the warmer months, it’s great to<br />

be able to spend more and more time enjoying our<br />

gardens, as outdoor spaces become an extension of<br />

our homes.<br />

Despite the unpredictable British weather, the nation<br />

is embracing the Mediterranean lifestyle, with outdoor<br />

entertaining and kitchen areas a key trend for <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

Create a dedicated area with comfy furniture and<br />

mood lighting, complete with a sunken fire pit,<br />

barbecue or pizza oven.<br />

While well-stocked beds and borders are always<br />

a welcome sight, if you want to incorporate extra<br />

planting into you terrace or patio area then stylish<br />

planters are the way to go. Choose styles which<br />

complement the theme of your garden, or add a spot<br />

of interest with quirky options. Display stands are<br />

another great way to showcase some of your favourite<br />

plants.<br />

SKARGAARDEN BONAN LOUNGE<br />

SOFA, £3,999, HOUSEOLOGY.<br />

WWW.HOUSEOLOGY.COM<br />

£6<br />

GARDEN TRADING FINSBURY STEEL<br />

WALL LIGHT, BLACK BY DESIGN.<br />

WWW.BLACK-BY-DESIGN.CO.UK<br />

HOUSE DOCTOR HANGING<br />

WOVEN PLANTER, AMARA.<br />

WWW.AMARA.COM<br />

GARDEN TRADING ALDSWORTH<br />

WOODEN PLANT STAND,<br />

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM<br />

£90<br />

£50<br />

NATURAL INSECT HOUSE,<br />

GEORGE HOME AT ASDA.<br />

WWW.ASDA.COM<br />

£85<br />

22


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STAINLESS STEEL WOOD FIRED OVENS - GAZEBOS - HOT TUB<br />

ENCLOSURE - FIRE PITS AND BRAZIERS - GRILLES - OUTDOOR BAR<br />

15% discount for J’AIME readers! Use code ‘jaimespring’ at checkout<br />

Skillcraft Products ltd, Unit C, Atlas Trading Estate, Bilston, Wolverhampton WV14 8TJ<br />

Email: sales@skillcraftproducts.com - Tel: 01902 507277 - Open 8am - 8pm


NEON YELLOW PLANT POT,<br />

NOT-ANOTHER-BILL.<br />

WWW.NOTANOTHERBILL.COM<br />

£360<br />

£16<br />

MUSHROOM ORNAMENT,<br />

FOUR OAKS RECLAMATION.<br />

WWW.FOUROAKSRECLAMATION.COM<br />

£245<br />

£40<br />

£49 LARGE VINTAGE PLANTER,<br />

PEPPERMILL INTERIORS,<br />

BURNTWOOD BUSINESS PARK.<br />

WWW.PEPPERMILLINTERIORS.COM<br />

BEEPOT BEE HOUSE AND GARDEN<br />

PLANTER, GREEN AND BLUE.<br />

WWW.GREENANDBLUE.CO.UK<br />

ELEPHANT PLANTER, NEXT.<br />

WWW.NEXT.CO.UK<br />

VALENTINE DOUBLE<br />

RATTAN SUN LOUNGER,<br />

WWW.CUCKOOLAND.COM<br />

£1,799<br />

24<br />

POINT ARC GARDEN TABLE, £1,690,<br />

GO MODERN FURNITURE.<br />

WWW.GOMODERN.CO.UK<br />

GRANITE WATER FOUNTAIN, £695,<br />

BLACKBROOK INTERIORS.<br />

WWW.BLACKBROOK-INTERIORS.CO.UK


GARDEN TRADING HAMPSTEAD BENCH, £285,<br />

HOUSEOLOGY. WWW.HOUSEOLOGY.COM<br />

GARDEN TRADING DRINKS TROLLEY, £95,<br />

HOUSEOLOGY. WWW.HOUSEOLOGY.COM<br />

GARDEN TRADING OUTDOOR RATTAN<br />

HANGING NEST CHAIR, £325, LAGOON.<br />

WWW.VIVALAGOON.COM<br />

REMY BLUE ROUND DINING TABLE WITH<br />

SIX BLUE STACKING ARMCHAIRS, £1,999,<br />

BRIDGMAN. WWW.BRIDGMAN.CO.UK


CO M P E T I T I O N<br />

A jolly good show - or two<br />

THE BBC GOOD FOOD SHOW AND GARDENERS’ WORLD LIVE RETURN TO BIRMINGHAM THIS SUMMER,<br />

FROM JUNE 14 TO 17, PRESENTING THE ULTIMATE DAY OUT FOR FOOD LOVERS AND GARDEN ENTHUSIASTS<br />

ALIKE - AND YOU COULD WIN ONE OF FIVE PAIRS OF TICKETS<br />

One of the summer’s most popular days out will return<br />

to Birmingham again this June, as BBC Gardeners’<br />

World Live and the BBC Good Food Show Summer<br />

take over the NEC for four days.<br />

With one ticket, visitors will gain entry to both<br />

spectacular events, which will attract more than 500<br />

exhibitors from the culinary and horticultural worlds<br />

from Thursday, June 14 to Sunday, June 17.<br />

As well as the hundreds of stands, the shows also<br />

bring a star-studded line-up of some of the country’s<br />

favourite gardeners, chefs, experts and bakers.<br />

The line-up includes BBC Two’s Gardeners’ World<br />

lead presenter Monty Don plus co-presenters including<br />

Carol Klein, Adam Frost and, new to the show this<br />

year, Mark Lane and Arit Anderson. Fellow television<br />

personality Alan Titchmarsh also joins the team on<br />

Friday.<br />

At the BBC Good Food Show, firm favourites Mary<br />

Berry, James Martin, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr.<br />

and many more will be cooking up a storm on stage in<br />

the Big Kitchen, with plenty more chances to see them<br />

around the show.<br />

This year’s BBC Good Food Show sees the return of<br />

a selection of fantastic shopping areas including the<br />

Producers’ Village and the Drinks Emporium. New<br />

to the <strong>2018</strong> Show is the Eat Well zone, showcasing<br />

the best in vegan and vegetarian products, with expert<br />

advice and recipe ideas at the show’s Summer Kitchen<br />

stage.<br />

TOM KERRIDGE BRINGS HIS<br />

EXPERTISE TO THE BBC GOOD<br />

FOOD SHOW THIS SUMMER<br />

ALAN TITCHMARSH WILL BE<br />

RETURNING TO BBC GARDENERS’<br />

WORLD LIVE AT THE NEC<br />

Stepping outside, you’ll find inspirational Show<br />

Gardens and top shopping for your garden. The<br />

Made in Birmingham garden will feature a railway<br />

embankment plot with allotment, wildflower meadow<br />

and a working steam engine with Pullman Dining<br />

carriage.<br />

The Wyevale Garden Centres Solutions Garden<br />

will display stunning best practice ways to deal with<br />

common issues such as soil types or shady areas; the<br />

Tesco Every Little Helps Garden offers up ideas for<br />

small changes that can make big differences; and the<br />

Beautiful Borders will be full of small space ideas.<br />

Whether inside or outside, you’ll find the best in<br />

cooking and gardening inspiration with four days of<br />

free entry stages showcasing a full mix of plot to plate<br />

inspiration, live demos, Q&As, talks and plenty of<br />

advice. Ticket holders will gain entry to both shows,<br />

with children under five going free and discounts and<br />

free tickets available for groups of eight or more. For<br />

an extra special treat, the VIP and VIP Luxe packages<br />

26


BLACKBROOK INTERIORS<br />

We are a family run business home to an impressive range of furniture, interior furnishings,<br />

mirrors, accessories, antique and modern lighting and Chandeliers. We have huge<br />

courtyards full of interesting bronze statuary, fountains, stoneware and garden items.<br />

www.blackbrook-interiors.co.uk<br />

Open: Mon - Fri: 9am - 5pm. Sat: 9.30am - 5pm. Sun: 10am - 4pm<br />

Tel: 01543 481010 - Email: info@blackbrook-interiors.co.uk<br />

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include front row seats in the Big Kitchen super theatre<br />

and BBC Gardeners’ World Live Theatre, access to<br />

exclusive lounges and much more.<br />

Adam Frost, who will be giving his insight in the BBC<br />

Gardeners’ World Live Theatre on the Thursday and<br />

Sunday of the show, said: “This year’s show is really<br />

about helping gardeners make every space count. I’ll<br />

be live on stage, talking about the progress of my own<br />

garden and giving lots of design tips, as will many<br />

fellow Gardeners’ World presenters, including Monty<br />

Don and gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh too. It’s<br />

the perfect show for anyone looking for exciting garden<br />

inspiration to try at home - see you there!”<br />

Tom Kerridge, who will be cooking live in three Big<br />

Kitchen sessions, said: “There aren’t many events that<br />

compare to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC<br />

Birmingham. With the size of the venue, the amount<br />

of delicious food and drink to sample and buy, and the<br />

expert demonstrations, it really is an amazing day out.”<br />

For more information and tickets to BBC Gardeners’<br />

World Live and the BBC Good Food Show, visit<br />

www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com or www.<br />

bbcgoodfoodshow.com<br />

The Competition<br />

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH BBC GOOD<br />

FOOD SHOW AND BBC GARDENERS’<br />

WORLD LIVE AT THE NEC TO OFFER<br />

READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF<br />

FIVE PAIRS OF TICKETS TO THE SUMMER<br />

SPECTACULAR. VISITORS CAN ENJOY<br />

THE BEST IN COOKING AND GARDENING<br />

INSPIRATION FROM A PROGRAMME<br />

OF LIVE DEMONSTRATIONS, Q&AS,<br />

INFORMATIVE TALKS AND THE CHANCE<br />

TO CHAT TO MORE THAN 150 ARTISAN<br />

PRODUCERS AND GARDENING EXPERTS.<br />

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN,<br />

SIMPLY ANSWER THE FOLLOWING<br />

QUESTION: NAME ONE OF THE<br />

CELEBRITY EXPERTS WHO WILL BE<br />

APPEARING AT EITHER SHOW.<br />

Send your answer, along with your name,<br />

address and telephone number, by email to<br />

competitions@jaimemagazine.com with BBC Summer<br />

Shows competition as the email subject. Entries must be<br />

received by 5pm on Friday, <strong>May</strong> 25, and our winner will<br />

be notified by Wednesday, <strong>May</strong> 30. Tickets are valid on<br />

Thursday, Friday or Sunday; no Saturday admission. General<br />

admission tickets do not include a seat in the Big Kitchen.<br />

Big Kitchen seats are available to purchase on the day for<br />

£3, subject to availability. No cash alternative is available.<br />

Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

for further details.<br />

28


Broadway Kitchens<br />

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CALL to arrange a design consultation - VISIT our showroom - VIEW our kitchens online


F O O D & D R I N K<br />

A dining delight with country charm<br />

NAMED IN THE MICHELIN GUIDE AS ONE OF THE UK’S BEST DINING PUBS, THE DUNCOMBE ARMS<br />

SERVES UP MODERN BRITISH CLASSICS WITH FLAIR AND STYLE, AS AMY NORBURY DISCOVERED<br />

We’ve got no shortage of fantastic eateries<br />

around these parts. But sometimes it’s good<br />

to venture a little further afield - especially if<br />

the experience is as good as our evening at<br />

The Duncombe Arms proved to be.<br />

This rural gem has been lauded as one of<br />

the best dining pubs in the UK, featuring in<br />

the Michelin Guide and counting two AA<br />

Rosettes among its accolades, so we were<br />

delighted to be invited over to sample their<br />

offerings.<br />

On the edge of the Peak District, close to the<br />

market towns of Ashbourne and Uttoxeter,<br />

it’s actually much closer than you think. Even<br />

better, come November the pub is opening bedrooms,<br />

meaning you can make a trip of it; perhaps take in a<br />

walk around the picturesque countryside, or enjoy the<br />

thrills and spills of Alton Towers just three miles down<br />

the road.<br />

The pub’s homely atmosphere is evident from the<br />

second you set foot through the door; the greeting<br />

is warm, the fires blazing and the rustic-chic decor<br />

creates a stylish setting.<br />

Wonderfully stocked with everything from ales and fine<br />

wines to an impressive selection of gins and whiskeys,<br />

the bar is a convivial hub for diners enjoying pre and<br />

post-dinner drinks, as well as locals popping in for a<br />

refreshing beverage. My husband immediately spied<br />

the pub’s very own ale, the Duncombe Ale, which he<br />

had to sample, proclaiming it an excellent pint.<br />

The staff are smartly clad and exceptionally<br />

welcoming; service is truly top notch and we were well<br />

looked after from start to finish.<br />

And then there’s the food. The scents wafting through<br />

from the kitchen are immediately enticing and the<br />

plates which were making their way to hungry diners<br />

looked exceedingly tempting. We opted to forgo a<br />

pre-dinner drink and head straight to our table in the<br />

restaurant. We’d made an early evening booking so<br />

it was pleasantly quiet, but by 8pm the tables were<br />

getting full - rather impressive for a Monday.<br />

The talented kitchen team is led by Stuart Langdell,<br />

who honed his considerable skills at Simpsons and as<br />

a head chef for none other than Marco Pierre White<br />

and arrived at The Duncombe Arms from a stint at<br />

Michelin-starred The Cross at Kenilworth. Stuart’s<br />

passion, he explains to us when he pops out of the<br />

kitchen for a quick chat, is for getting the absolute<br />

best out of fantastic local and seasonal produce.<br />

His modern British menu isn’t about wild flavour<br />

combinations and eccentric techniques; rather, using<br />

care and skill to showcase the glorious produce at<br />

hand.<br />

And therein lay our first problem; what to choose from<br />

the small but perfectly formed menu? Each of the six<br />

30


starters and seven main dishes sounded so mouthwateringly<br />

good, it was a tough task to choose between<br />

them. But choose we did, deliberations helped along<br />

by a good glass of shiraz and a platter of beautifully<br />

baked warm focaccia and sourdough.<br />

My husband called dibs on the chicken liver parfait<br />

with burnt orange and toasted brioche, £8, while<br />

I was tempted by both the buttered asparagus with<br />

soft-poached egg and Hollandaise, £9, and the soused<br />

mackerel, beetroot and horseradish salad, £9. But it<br />

was the fried duck egg with stilton and aged balsamic,<br />

£7, which most intrigued me, so the decision was<br />

made.<br />

The parfait was simply sublime; rich in flavour yet<br />

silky and oh-so-light, it was a dish both of us could<br />

have eaten again and again. The sharp sweetness<br />

of the smooth burnt orange chutney added just<br />

enough acidity to cut through the parfait and create a<br />

beautifully balanced dish.<br />

Despite the parfait’s prowess, my duck egg and stilton<br />

combination certainly gave it a run for its money in the<br />

flavour stakes. The dish, explained Stuart, was a Marco<br />

favourite, and the unusual combination worked in<br />

harmony for an explosion on the taste buds. The egg<br />

was runny and luscious, and the stilton added a deep<br />

saltiness to complement the sweet brioche.<br />

For the main event my husband was tempted away<br />

from his usual steak by the braised beef featherblade<br />

with smoked onion, creamed potatoes, watercress and<br />

horseradish, £19, at the recommendation of The<br />

Duncombe Arms’ general manager James Oddy. And<br />

it proved to be a winning combination. The beef was<br />

melt-in-the-mouth tender, yielding under the slightest<br />

pressure from a fork, while the smoking process added<br />

a new depth to the sweet onion. The potatoes were<br />

the creamiest I’d ever tasted - a substantial helping of<br />

butter adding a luxurious touch. It was superb, and my<br />

husband declared he was just sorry it had to come to<br />

an end.<br />

I was equally impressed by my roast cod with lemon<br />

butter, capers, shrimp and crushed potatoes, £21. The<br />

fish was perfectly cooked, with the beautifully firm<br />

flakes just opaque. Acidity from the lemon and capers<br />

tempered the richness of the butter sauce, while the<br />

shrimps were little morsels of delight.<br />

It seemed a shame to move onto desserts; until the<br />

desserts arrived, that is. I love a good, old fashioned<br />

rice pud, and Stuart elevated this classic to something<br />

exceptional with the addition of prunes in Armagnac<br />

and crystallised almond, £7.50.<br />

My husband’s custard tart with strawberry sorbet,<br />

£7.50, was a thing of beauty which tasted every bit<br />

as good as it looked. Thin, delicate and crisp pastry<br />

encased a perfectly set custard flavoured with warming<br />

nutmeg, while the sorbet added a refreshing fruitiness.<br />

We finished the evening with coffees - a lovely Peruvian<br />

tunki - accompanied by salted caramel chocolates and,<br />

while we sipped our brews reflecting on an evening<br />

well spent, we vowed to make a return visit.<br />

Good local pubs are worth their weight in gold<br />

when they get their dining right. And, oh boy, have<br />

The Duncombe Arms got it right. A great setting,<br />

exemplary service and a menu which leaves you<br />

wanting to come straight back for more - you won’t be<br />

sorry you made the trip.<br />

31


F O O D & D R I N K<br />

Eating for health<br />

DR RUPY AUJLA, THE NHS GP WHO STARTED THE DOCTOR’S KITCHEN AS A PROJECT TO INSPIRE PATIENTS ABOUT THE<br />

BEAUTY OF FOOD AND THE MEDICINAL EFFECTS OF EATING WELL, WILL BE APPEARING AT THIS YEAR’S BBC GOOD FOOD<br />

SHOW SUMMER, TAKING PLACE FROM JUNE 14 TO 17 AT THE NEC - AND HERE WE SHARE A RECIPE FROM HIS HEALTHY<br />

EATING BOOK, THE DOCTOR’S KITCHEN<br />

Dr Rupy Aujla says: “As a doctor, I see the effects of<br />

poor dietary and lifestyle choices every day. I got so<br />

many questions about nutrition whilst working as a<br />

general practitioner that I plucked up the courage to<br />

get behind a camera and literally show my patients<br />

how to get phenomenal ingredients onto their plate.<br />

I’m just a straight talking doctor giving healthy eating<br />

inspiration<br />

“Flavour-packed, slow-cooked dishes are the simplest<br />

yet most satisfying and comforting meals. This rich<br />

Massaman curry can be made with meat, but I love<br />

using butternut squash instead. It takes on the spices<br />

really well and, with the extra veg, the dish has plenty<br />

of micronutrients. Greens, squash and other yellow or<br />

orange coloured vegetables are dense sources of provitamin<br />

A and offer vital phytonutrients for immunity<br />

and eye health. This recipe makes enough for lunch<br />

the next day, to make your co-workers envious!”<br />

Butternut Massaman Curry<br />

Ingredients<br />

2 tbsp coconut oil<br />

3 tsp Massaman paste (shop-bought or<br />

homemade paste)<br />

100g coconut cream<br />

500g butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and<br />

cut into 4cm cubes<br />

300ml vegetable stock or water<br />

2 tsp fish sauce (optional)<br />

2 bay leaves<br />

1 tsp runny honey<br />

50g sugar snap peas, roughly chopped<br />

50g spinach, roughly chopped<br />

25g coriander leaves, roughly chopped<br />

20g dry roasted almonds, roughly crushed<br />

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper<br />

cooked brown rice, to serve (optional)<br />

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a<br />

medium heat, add the Massaman paste and fry<br />

for 1 minute, then stir in the coconut cream.<br />

Add the cubed butternut squash, season with<br />

salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2–3<br />

minutes, until lightly coloured.<br />

Pour in the stock or water, add the fish sauce (if<br />

using), bay leaves and honey, cover and simmer<br />

for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and<br />

the sauce has reduced.<br />

Remove from the heat, fold in the sugar snap<br />

peas and spinach and cover for 2 minutes. The<br />

heat of the curry will lightly cook them.<br />

Garnish the curry with the coriander and<br />

crushed almonds and serve it on its own or<br />

with a little brown rice on the side to soak up<br />

the creamy sauce.<br />

TIPS: Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce, if<br />

you wish, and add coconut milk with the stock<br />

to make the curry sauce extra creamy.<br />

32


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Using traditional skills, we can also strip down your old suite or sofa and re-create the original<br />

design with our superior re-upholstery which is highly renowned for its finish and meticulous detail.<br />

‘For a truly unique and individual lounge setting we welcome<br />

you to our factory showroom to see what we can create for you.’<br />

Unit 19, Martindale, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7XN<br />

Contact Simon Edwards or Chris Edwards on 01543 505539<br />

Email: sales@ralvernupholstery.co.uk - www.ralvernupholstery.co.uk


F O O D & D R I N K<br />

Cocktail of the month<br />

HARRIET LOVATT, FROM LE RÊVE COCKTAIL BAR IN LICHFIELD, HAS CREATED A<br />

REFRESHING AND OH-SO-PRETTY SPRING COCKTAIL TO TANTALISE YOUR TASTEBUDS<br />

Spring Temptation<br />

50ml gin<br />

25ml vanilla syrup<br />

12.5ml raspberry purée<br />

12.5ml fresh lemon juice<br />

1 bottle tonic water<br />

3 fresh raspberries<br />

Muddle three fresh<br />

raspberries with vanilla<br />

syrup in your shaker.<br />

Add ice and all other<br />

ingredients apart from<br />

the tonic, then shake<br />

vigorously and double<br />

strain into your glass.<br />

Finally, top up with the<br />

tonic water.<br />

34


P R E N T I C E<br />

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enquiry@prentice.co.uk<br />

www.prentice.co.uk


F O O D & D R I N K<br />

A refreshing change<br />

MICHAEL BALLANCE, FOUNDER OF SPECIALIST WINE COMPANY ITALSARDO,<br />

SAYS IT’S TIME TO TAKE NOTICE OF A DIFFERENT KIND OF WHITE WINE<br />

It’s one of those dilemmas in life; what to order in a<br />

restaurant or a wine bar when a nice glass of white<br />

wine is calling.<br />

Is it a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot<br />

Grigio? Well I say why not try an alternative to those<br />

traditional whites with a Vermentino.<br />

Vermentino is primarily found in Italy, particularly<br />

Sardinia where the climate best suits this grape variety.<br />

It is often grown on slopes facing the sea or very close<br />

to the coast.<br />

The wine is dry, fresh and very tasty, a delicate and a<br />

very fine wine and is best served at around 8-10oC.<br />

There is a great range of Vermentino wines; and here<br />

are some that Ital Sardo has chosen to bring to the<br />

UK.<br />

36


ITAL SARDO<br />

FINE WINES FROM ITALY<br />

A REFRESHING CHANGE<br />

Visit our online store for personally sourced wines from Italy<br />

www.italsardo.com<br />

wine@italsardo.com 01283 711588


Tyros<br />

Tyrsos Vermentino is a DOC wine produced from<br />

vines grown 50 metres above sea level on slightly<br />

sandy and clay soils. This wine is intense, smooth,<br />

fruity and flowery. It is a good to drink alone, with<br />

fish or light meat dishes. 13% alcohol.<br />

Ruinas<br />

Ruinus Vermentino is an IGT wine produced from<br />

vineyards situated in the heart of Gallura, 350 metres<br />

above sea level. This wine has a straw colour with<br />

a very fine bouquet, full of exotic fruit tastes. The<br />

granite/sandy soils imparts good minerality to the<br />

wine. 14.67% alcohol.<br />

Aragosta<br />

If you fancy a fizzy Vermentino you have to try<br />

Aragosta Brut, a refreshing change from Prosecco.<br />

Best served at 6-8oC, this fresh and elegant wine is a<br />

perfect aperitif or enjoyed with various seafood dishes.<br />

13.5% alcohol.<br />

Pedres<br />

One of the premium areas of Sardinia offers DOCG<br />

(Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita)<br />

which the Italians view as the highest designation<br />

for quality. Pedres DOCG Vermentino is a dry and<br />

fresh wine with a delicate bouquet with fresh fruit<br />

and flowery notes. This is an excellent example of the<br />

Vermentino grape. 13% alcohol.<br />

Lupus<br />

This is one of my favourite wines, a DOCG Superiore<br />

from Gallura, Sardinia. This straw-coloured<br />

Vermentino comes in a bottle with a glass stopper,<br />

rather than a cork, synthetic cork or screw cap which<br />

are the traditional methods. This glass stopper is a<br />

nice novel idea that imparts individuality to the wine.<br />

The wine is very elegant, full of flavour, full of aromas<br />

of exotic fruits, good minerality and long finish - a<br />

long persistence in the mouth and nose. All in all, it’s<br />

an excellent DOCG Vermentino Superiore. 13.5 %<br />

alcohol.<br />

TYROS<br />

LUPUS<br />

ARAGOSTA<br />

RUINAS<br />

PEDRES<br />

Ital Sardo provides the superiority of Sardinian wine, and has also has recently<br />

extended its range of wines to include mainland Italy. All of the wines can be<br />

purchased from the new website www.italsardo.com or contact Patrick Gaunt,<br />

operations manager, on 01283 711588.<br />

38


The Pear Tree<br />

c r ê p e r i e<br />

HEART OF THE COUNTRY VILLAGE<br />

Open Bank Holiday Mondays<br />

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Visit our showroom to be amazed by the choice -<br />

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With such a wide range of fires, fireplaces and stoves<br />

there is sure to be a style to suit you & your home<br />

We of f er<br />

a c omp le t e<br />

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Come and join us for a tasty galette or sweet crépe<br />

We specialise in gluten free<br />

Open Tues - Sun<br />

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Call to book on<br />

01543 481807<br />

tatlowcarpets<br />

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RANGES THROUGHOUT MAY<br />

Please see our website for further details www.tatlowcarpets.co.uk<br />

Tel: 01543 264766<br />

Open to the public. Mon-Fri: 9.00am - 5.00pm. Sat: 10.00am - 4.00pm<br />

Unit 4, Europa Way, Britannia Enterprise Park, Lichfield, Staffs, WS14 9TZ<br />

5 Stafford Road, Lichfield WS13 7BZ<br />

Tel: 01543 263 383 • www.thefireplacelichfield.co.uk<br />

Email: sales@thefireplacelichfield.co.uk<br />

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm • Sat 10am - 4pm.<br />

Closed Sundays and bank holidays. FREE ON-SITE PARKING.


F O O D & D R I N K<br />

International f lavours<br />

LICHFIELD’S BEACON PARK WILL COME ALIVE WITH AN ECLECTIC MIX OF FLAVOURS AND AROMAS FROM ACROSS<br />

THE GLOBE WHEN THE FIRST CAFÉ INTERNATIONAL ARRIVES ON MAY 5. AMY NORBURY CHATS TO FRADLEY<br />

COUPLE NICOLA CLARK AND STEFAN SIEKIERSKI, WHO ARE THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE NEW FOOD EVENT<br />

From French crepes, Sicilian cannoli and<br />

Spanish churros to Japanese hirata buns<br />

and Brazilian barbecue, there will be<br />

flavours and aromas galore ready to entice<br />

hungry punters into the picturesque<br />

surroundings of Lichfield’s Beacon Park<br />

this month.<br />

Café International is a brand new<br />

celebration of international food set up by<br />

Nicola Clark and Stefan Siekierski, who<br />

run an event management company of<br />

the same name. And on Saturday, <strong>May</strong><br />

5, their inaugural event will see the park<br />

come alive with cuisine from around the<br />

world.<br />

Stefan and Nicola may be familiar faces<br />

in the city; they already run the Cathedral<br />

Crepes stand, which can be found in<br />

the shadows of the Samuel Johnson<br />

Birthplace Museum most Saturdays, as<br />

well as catering for corporate events and<br />

weddings.<br />

Self-confessed Francophiles, Stefan and Nicola spend<br />

much of their family holiday time at their second<br />

home in France, near Caen in Brittany, with their<br />

three children; Stefan’s sons Asher, 13, and 16-year-old<br />

Louis, and Nicola’s daughter Alice, who’s 11. And it’s<br />

there where they fell in love with French food - and<br />

GRILLBRAZIL<br />

crepes in particular.<br />

“The one thing we crave more than anything when we<br />

are in England is delicious hot crepes,” says 38-yearold<br />

Stefan. “This is why we decided to make our own,<br />

to share the love.<br />

“We love all of the big French markets, and there are<br />

regular ones in the town where we live in France so<br />

we always go over to chat to the<br />

locals and eat the crepes there,<br />

and we thought it would be good<br />

to bring that back to Lichfield<br />

with us.<br />

“The crepes were just a hobby<br />

to begin with. We just thought it<br />

would be something nice to do,<br />

and a way to spend some time<br />

together on a Saturday.”<br />

Whenever they go on a jaunt to<br />

France, Stefan and Nicola stock<br />

up on vital ingredients for their<br />

authentic French crepes.<br />

“A lot of the products we use<br />

come from France, we try to<br />

40


CONSEQUENCE<br />

OF<br />

WAR<br />

1918 - <strong>2018</strong><br />

16 APRIL – 24 JUNE<br />

a major exhibition<br />

exploring themes<br />

of war & peace<br />

through art<br />

and history<br />

Internationally renowned artists include<br />

HENRY MOORE<br />

PAUL NASH<br />

GRAHAM SUTHERLAND<br />

HENRI GAUDIER-BRZESKA<br />

Like us on Facebook<br />

Follow us on twitter @LichfieldCath<br />

www.lichfield-cathedral.org/peace


ing as much back as we<br />

can,” says Stefan. “The<br />

products we use to make the<br />

crepes and galettes are all<br />

French, and we brings lovely<br />

French jams over too.”<br />

As well as their crepe business<br />

and events management,<br />

Stefan and Nicola both have<br />

demanding day jobs, working<br />

within the NHS; Stefan is<br />

a qualified nurse and works<br />

on large projects for NHS<br />

trusts around the country,<br />

while Nicola works on the<br />

governance side. Their roles<br />

both involve organising events<br />

- skills which have come in<br />

very handy for their new<br />

venture.<br />

The original inspiration for an<br />

international food event came one Saturday when the<br />

duo were helming their crepe stand in the city centre.<br />

They hit upon the idea of a European street food event<br />

as a way to expand their business - and that initial<br />

inspiration has now snowballed into a series of major<br />

events in Beacon Park throughout the year.<br />

“There was originally going to be just one event,” says<br />

CHURROS BARCELONA<br />

VISITORS CAN RELAX AND ENJOY THEIR FOOD<br />

UNDER THE BEAUTIFUL STRETCH TENT<br />

Nicola, who’s 36. “But then we went to meet with the<br />

Lichfield parks team and found out about them losing<br />

their funding for the parks so we thought we could<br />

work with them to do something.”<br />

Supported by Lichfield District Council and Lichfield<br />

BID, their aim is to entice more people from around<br />

the city and beyond to use the park.<br />

“Lichfield District Council have been amazing<br />

throughout the whole process of setting up<br />

the event,” says Stefan. “We’re so lucky to<br />

live in Lichfield and to have their support.<br />

They know they need to get tourists to<br />

come into the city and to stay overnight,<br />

and because our events are going on until<br />

10pm we hope people will make a weekend<br />

of it.”<br />

The spot the couple have chosen to hold<br />

their international street food festival is the<br />

very spot where they often enjoy family<br />

picnics.<br />

“We’ve managed to source some really<br />

good vendors,” says Stefan. “We’ve also<br />

helped some people to get set up so they’re<br />

going to be doing their first event with us at<br />

Café International.”<br />

“We’ve got around 40 international food<br />

traders, which is a nice number,” adds<br />

Nicola. “We didn’t want to duplicate types<br />

of food; we wanted to get a really good<br />

mix.<br />

“We’re holding the event under a big<br />

marquee, with all of the food vendors<br />

stationed around it. The idea is that people<br />

will choose their food and then gather<br />

under the marquee bar area to enjoy it.”<br />

The large central marquee - a funky stretch<br />

42


tent covering an area 15 by 21 metres - will host the<br />

main bar, which will be fully stocked with wines, beers<br />

and ales. Smaller marquees will hold the separate gin<br />

and prosecco bars, and there will be plenty of seating<br />

to enable visitors to relax and enjoy a drink and bite to<br />

eat in the tranquil park surroundings.<br />

Throughout the day there will also be a variety<br />

of family entertainment, as well as cookery<br />

demonstrations with experts from the Barbecue<br />

Association using locally-sourced meats to add an extra<br />

dimension to proceedings.<br />

At the heart of Nicola and Stefan’s events is the<br />

Lichfield community; they’re working with St Giles<br />

Hospice to sell their lottery tickets during the events,<br />

as well as promoting a reading scheme for people with<br />

mental health issues at Lichfield library.<br />

“It’s about food, entertainment and Lichfield,” says<br />

Stefan. “We want people to come together in the park<br />

for a great day out with their families.”<br />

Café International is just the start of Nicola and<br />

Stefan’s events plans for the park. In June they are<br />

holding the inaugural Lichfield Comedy Festival,<br />

with a music event planned for July, a Halloweenthemed<br />

event for October and the Café International<br />

Christmas Festival in December.<br />

The comedy festival, which takes place on June 23,<br />

will see a host of comedians take to a stage within the<br />

main marquee, with free entertainment and comedy<br />

shows from 10am until 4pm, followed by tickets shows<br />

aimed at both families until 7pm and adults from 7pm<br />

until 10pm. There will also be street food and bars for<br />

everyone to enjoy. The event will be hosted by Comedy<br />

42’s Chris Purchase, and comedians on the main bill<br />

include The Chase favourite Paul Sinha and Live at<br />

The Apollo regular Dane Baptiste.<br />

“We love the park; we spend a lot of time there as a<br />

family,” explains Stefan. “We want to both use the<br />

park and generate income for the park, as well as<br />

generate more income for the city. We want the whole<br />

of Lichfield to get involved, and to bring people here<br />

to our beautiful city from around Staffordshire and<br />

beyond.<br />

“It’s certainly turned into more than a hobby!”<br />

For more information visit<br />

www.cafeinternational.co.uk.<br />

NICOLA AND STEFAN RUN<br />

CATHEDRAL CREPES<br />

43


T R AV E L<br />

Dalmatian Discovery<br />

EMMA STONE, OF RB COLLECTION TAKES A FAMILIAR JOURNEY AROUND<br />

BEAUTIFUL CROATIA TO REIGNITE HER LOVE AFFAIR WITH THIS ADRIATIC JEWEL<br />

THE WATERFRONT TOWN OF ZADAR<br />

Never mind that I know Croatia really well (it’s one<br />

of my favourite places on earth) and never mind<br />

that it was just a few months ago that I had cruised<br />

along the country’s amazing coastline on board the<br />

Adriatic’s newest casual ship, the Agape Rose. Just<br />

three months later I was back, enticed by what is<br />

surely one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe.<br />

My love affair with Croatia is sincere, passionate -<br />

and ongoing.<br />

And so it was in mid-September that I returned to<br />

my beloved Croatia – to the Dalmatia region to be<br />

exact. The peak season crowds had left (wonderful),<br />

everything was still open (great) and the sea had<br />

warmed up beautifully (perfect). Most days it was<br />

sunny and around 24C.<br />

My journey started in Zadar, a glorious waterfront<br />

town about two hours north of famous Split and<br />

where the city’s old defensive walls had gained<br />

UNESCO heritage status just a few months earlier,<br />

in July 2017. A couple of cruise ships were docked<br />

one day, yet their passengers did not swamp the old<br />

town as sadly sometimes happens elsewhere. The<br />

two main attractions for the cruising crowd were the<br />

Greeting to the Sun and the Sea Organ, both located<br />

on the wide pedestrianised seafront promenade.<br />

They were installed a few years ago to bring life to<br />

the waterfront and they have done just that. The<br />

Greeting to the Sun is a massive, solar glass disk on<br />

the ground which stores the rays of sun during the<br />

day and releases them in the evening into a frenzy of<br />

colourful, sparkling laser-type beams. The Sea Organ<br />

is a clever piece of work where drilled holes and<br />

pipes allow the sea to make music - literally. People<br />

sit there for hours, listening and watching the bright<br />

blue Adriatic.<br />

I passed them as I headed for the ferry to Dugi Otok<br />

(long island). Part of my love affair with Croatia is<br />

connected to her amazing, hidden beaches and there<br />

are some gorgeous ones here. I adore secret bays.<br />

That evening I drove the 45 minutes to the<br />

amazingly named Biograd na Moru and the<br />

Hotel Ilirija right on the waterfront. Over coffee<br />

with Davor the reception manager (who said he<br />

remembered me from the previous year), I heard<br />

about the new indoor pool coming in spring <strong>2018</strong>,<br />

the new glass balconies and when we moved on to<br />

the subject of music, Davor berated me with “How<br />

did you miss our amazing jazz and blues festival?”. It<br />

44


THE GLORIOUS WALLED<br />

CITY OF TROGIR<br />

is now in the diary - late July <strong>2018</strong>. Here I indulged<br />

in two days of swimming through the lagoon-type<br />

bays with a quick trip over to Zlarin island late<br />

one afternoon and yes, a secret beach which I had<br />

to myself. I love the way that Croatian ferries and<br />

catamarans make travel so easy.<br />

My journey southwards brought me to Trogir a few<br />

days later. I never tire of this place and it really is<br />

one of the most stunning walled cities. It too is a<br />

UNESCO heritage site and handy for Split just 30<br />

minutes away. Endless polished marble streets, a<br />

museum telling the legend of Kairos, the God of the<br />

Fleeting Moment (useful for a pub quiz perhaps?),<br />

the wonderful main square with St Lawrence<br />

Cathedral and some impressive jewellery boutiques.<br />

I stayed at the brand new Hotel Ola at Seget Donji,<br />

a quick taxi ride away (both road and water type).<br />

I had read reports about the jaw dropping views<br />

from the rooftop infinity pool and, oh yes, they were<br />

amazing as was the view from my room across the<br />

sea towards Trogir. The hotel’s brilliant design means<br />

that every room has a wonderful sea view. But it was<br />

the Energy Clinic and Spa that drew my attention.<br />

There I learned that in April, <strong>May</strong>, September and<br />

October there is usually a 25 per cent discount on<br />

most of the programmes from detox to anti-smoking<br />

and I had found the perfect birthday present for my<br />

old pal David who has been trying to kick the habit<br />

for years. Voucher beautifully wrapped and tucked<br />

away, I wondered if my friend might welcome me as<br />

an observer next <strong>May</strong>?<br />

Food in this part of Croatia is essentially<br />

Mediterranean and healthy with lots of fish, seafood,<br />

pasta and quality olive oil and I had been eating lots<br />

of it. I had also noticed cookery courses advertised in<br />

Trogir.<br />

But I was getting ready to eat in a different way in<br />

Split, Croatia’s second city. Even 10 years ago, Split<br />

was considered as just the main ferry hub for<br />

the islands. Fast forward and it has become as<br />

sought after as Dubrovnik further south and<br />

people now stay longer. Split has always had a<br />

buzz, with daily life going on inside the historic<br />

walls of Diocletian’s Palace (also a UNESCO<br />

listed site and where the Emperor astutely had<br />

his retirement palace built). I had been told<br />

that Split had become something of a gourmet<br />

hotspot. Really? I found trendy new wine bars<br />

serving a wide range of tapas-style dishes,<br />

bistros offering everything from fusion cuisine to<br />

gourmet burgers, wonderful beach cafes serving<br />

small fresh fish in paper wrappers and some<br />

very high quality fine dining establishments too.<br />

Whoever would have thought it? On my last<br />

morning here I had coffee at a cafe on Split’s<br />

sandy Bavcice beach (sandy beaches are rare<br />

in Croatia) and watched locals play their game of<br />

‘picigin’ which involves running through a shallow<br />

sea and some dexterous moves with a sort of tennis<br />

ball. It was time to leave for my ferry.<br />

My destination was Supetar on the north coast<br />

of the island of Brac. The crossing takes just 50<br />

minutes and it’s so easy and frequent that many<br />

locals commute to Split for work. Tourists staying in<br />

Supetar can easily nip over to Split for a night at the<br />

opera – and back (last ferry from Split is at midnight).<br />

The island of Brac is one of my favourites. There<br />

are some great beaches, some excellent walks across<br />

old shepherds trails, some wonderful summer<br />

TROGIR IS A UNESCO WORLD<br />

HERITAGE SITE<br />

45


TROGIR, CROATIA<br />

festivals of food, wine and music and yes, some<br />

secret coves. While the V-shaped Zlatni Rat beach<br />

in Bol on the south of the island is possibly the most<br />

photographed place in Croatia, there are plenty of<br />

smaller waterside spots. I took a water taxi along to<br />

Lovrecina beach (not far from the Hotel Pastura in<br />

Postira – best reached from the sea or down a track)<br />

where I enjoyed a seafood risotto lunch at the beach<br />

bistro with a glass of superb white wine for around<br />

£12. There I met an American couple who were on<br />

their way to the island of Vis next day. They were<br />

going there for the very experience that bowled me<br />

over when I had visited from my Agape Rose cruise<br />

earlier in the year.<br />

Military history really doesn’t get more fascinating<br />

than on Vis with those hidden submarine hideouts,<br />

miles of tunnels and underground rocket launch<br />

sites, the old airfield and so many monuments to<br />

those who gave their lives during World War Two.<br />

I half wished I was going with the Americans. I<br />

wondered if they might bump into Meryl Streep,<br />

Colin Firth and others who were on the island during<br />

September and October, filming the sequel to the<br />

film Mamma Mia.<br />

Dubrovnik was to be almost my final stop on this<br />

incredible coastal journey. So much has been<br />

written about this UNESCO protected city. Has it<br />

been spoiled? No. Has it been over-run by cruise<br />

passengers? Yes, they are there in numbers but if<br />

you plan your visit to the old city before 10am and<br />

after 5pm, many of them have returned to their<br />

ships. Is it expensive? Yes, in just the way that a<br />

famous, sought after place anywhere in the world is<br />

more costly than a tiny, unknown village.<br />

Beauty does become Dubrovnik. I have visited so<br />

many times since the early Nineties and it still is<br />

special. I look beyond the tourist tat on sale up into<br />

the Renaissance balconies, I try to take in a concert<br />

in Rector’s Palace and I always hop over to Lokrum<br />

island (just 10 minutes away) to stroll through the<br />

Botanical Gardens, admire the monastery ruins and<br />

the Venus pools. There is always a peaceful spot<br />

there somewhere.<br />

I stayed in my favourite place near Dubrovnik and<br />

that is Cavtat. A long curved waterfront lined with<br />

palm trees that has a look of Saint Tropez about<br />

it, a lovely walk through woods up to the Racic<br />

mausoleum (great views) and the Hotel Cavtat<br />

which is always popular with returning Brits. The<br />

owners had superbly upgraded the place since my<br />

last visit with a stylish new restaurant, new rooms<br />

and an extended seafront cafe. I grabbed my book<br />

and headed for a seat by the water. I thought about<br />

how sometimes, things are not quite what one<br />

expects in Croatia. Indeed, they are often 20 times<br />

better.<br />

SPLIT, CROATIA<br />

46


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BEAUTIFUL CAVTAT<br />

47


F E AT U R E<br />

Racing to the top<br />

MIDLANDS COMPANY SYMDECK IS LEADING THE WAY WITH A NEW INNOVATION IN MOTORSPORTS<br />

GAMING - AND YOU COULD WIN A SIMULATOR EXPERIENCE AT THEIR ALREWAS SHOWROOM<br />

SIMON LEVESLEY AT<br />

SILVERSTONE<br />

Like many of life’s greatest ideas, the inspiration for<br />

Mike Johns and Simon Levesley’s innovative gaming<br />

race simulator came from a chat in the local pub.<br />

Both self-confessed petrolheads, Mike and<br />

Simon have more than 50 years of new product<br />

development and manufacturing experience. While<br />

discussing the merits of gaming simulators, the duo<br />

identified a gap in the market for a motion simulator<br />

that would be compatible with Xbox and Playstation<br />

consoles - more sophisticated and immersive than<br />

standard static simulators and more affordable than<br />

the current PC-based motion rigs on the market<br />

which will set gamers back upwards of £10,000.<br />

“I had a static simulator set up at home, just a<br />

cockpit with a racing seat on it, sat on the floor with<br />

a TV screen and an Xbox,” explains Mike. “When<br />

Simon came round for a drink at Christmas three<br />

years ago I showed him my setup and thought<br />

nothing more of it.”<br />

But Simon, who runs a product design consultancy,<br />

had seen potential to create a new kind of gaming<br />

simulator. Just weeks later, he had designed and built<br />

a wooden prototype on castors, placed a seat on top<br />

of it and, with a simple pulley system, demonstrated<br />

a basic motion platform.<br />

When Mike, who had spent 30 years in corporate<br />

design and manufacturing, was made redundant<br />

two years ago after the design and manufacturing<br />

operation that he managed was outsourced to China,<br />

he found that he had little appetite to jump back into<br />

another corporate role.<br />

“That was when I asked Simon if he wanted to do<br />

something with the prototype idea we’d created,”<br />

says Mike. “For the past two years we’ve been<br />

developing that initial concept into a productionready<br />

concept, which is now about to launch.”<br />

The result of that further prototype development is<br />

the Symdeck Motion Simulator, a domestic gaming<br />

motion platform which replicates the acceleration<br />

and braking forces experienced in real life racing car<br />

driving situations via the forward and rearward travel<br />

of the platform.<br />

The platform has been designed as a ‘plug and play’<br />

addition to existing static gaming seat cockpits and<br />

will operate independently from gaming software,<br />

making it compatible with Sony Playstation and<br />

48


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Microsoft Xbox consoles as well as PC.<br />

Mike and Simon have also designed their own static<br />

cockpit and combined this with the motion platform<br />

to create the RS Deck, an ‘off-the-shelf ’ fully<br />

integrated motion simulator for customers wanting to<br />

buy a complete solution.<br />

“There are lots of off-the-shelf cockpits so if people<br />

already have a static cockpit they only need to buy<br />

the motion platform,” says Mike.<br />

“Our own cockpit, though, has a lot more<br />

adjustability and a better quality racing seat, plus<br />

we’ve integrated a curved screen into the unit to<br />

create a much more immersive experience.<br />

“Most motion simulators pivot on a single point,<br />

which is more suited to flight simulators because<br />

it mimics the movement of an aeroplane or a<br />

helicopter. A car doesn’t move like that, and the<br />

motion in our simulator is much more representative<br />

of what you’d feel in a performance car. You get that<br />

shove in the back when you accelerate, and it’s trying<br />

to tip you out under braking.<br />

“One of the things we’ve recently added is a<br />

racing harness which straps over your shoulders<br />

and tensions under braking, so it gives you a tug<br />

on the shoulders to add another dimension to the<br />

experience. We’ve also added two fans by the screen<br />

which come on when you press the accelerator so<br />

you get a blast of air. It’s not just a 3D, it’s a 4D<br />

experience.<br />

Aiming their simulator at the motorsports and racing<br />

enthusiast market, rather than purely at gamers,<br />

Mike and Simon have demonstrated Symdeck at<br />

events including Autosport International, Race<br />

Retro and the NEC’s Classic Motor Show, to much<br />

enthusiasm from showgoers.<br />

“It’s been great to demonstrate our products and<br />

get some face-to-face feedback from<br />

potential customers,” says Mike.<br />

“Our simulators aren’t inexpensive<br />

at around £3-4,000, but the only<br />

other competitive motion simulators<br />

on the market are driven by PCs<br />

rather that Xbox or Playstation<br />

consoles so that’s our USP. You don’t<br />

need a £10,000 computer to drive<br />

the software; our unit is ‘plug and<br />

play’, it’s simple, it’s reliable and it’s<br />

affordable in the scheme of things. It’s<br />

also quite compact compared to other<br />

simulators.<br />

Symdeck are also part of the Made<br />

In Britain scheme, choosing local<br />

suppliers as far as possible.<br />

“All of our suppliers are regional<br />

suppliers, with many of our parts<br />

sourced locally - a lot of our parts are<br />

bespoke so we have them purposebuilt<br />

for us,” says Mike. “I’ve got a passion to keep<br />

manufacture in the UK so we’re not importing cheap<br />

parts from China.<br />

“We assemble all of the products ourselves here<br />

too; we’ve done all of the design, we put everything<br />

together and we will be going out to commission and<br />

set up in customers’ homes.”<br />

Although Symdeck is new to the market, Mike and<br />

Simon are continually testing new ideas to add extra<br />

dimensions to the experience.<br />

“We’ve still got loads of ideas, so we’re also setting up<br />

a technical development simulator where we can test<br />

things out here,” says Mike.<br />

Gaming enthusiasts are also invited to the Alrewas<br />

showroom to test drive the Symdeck simulators for<br />

themselves and can hire the simulators for gaming<br />

experiences.<br />

For more information visit www.symdeck.com<br />

SYMDECK’S MIKE JOHNS<br />

50


The Competition<br />

J’AIME HAS TEAMED UP WITH SYMDECK TO OFFER READERS THE CHANCE TO WIN A GAMING<br />

SIMULATOR EXPERIENCE AT THEIR ALREWAS SHOWROOM WORTH £80. THREE LUCKY<br />

WINNERS WILL EACH BE ABLE TO TAKE A FRIEND ALONG TO ENJOY AN HOUR ON SYMDECK’S<br />

UNIQUE RACING SIMULATORS.<br />

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN THIS EXCITING PRIZE, SIMPLY ANSWER THE<br />

FOLLOWING QUESTION:<br />

WHERE IS SYMDECK’S SHOWROOM BASED?<br />

Send your answer, along with your name, address and telephone number, by email to competitions@jaimemagazine.com with Symdeck<br />

Experience competition as the email subject. Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, <strong>May</strong> 25, and our winner will be notified by<br />

Wednesday, <strong>May</strong> 30. No cash alternative is available. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.jaimemagazine.com for further details.<br />

SYMDECK DEMONSTRATED<br />

THEIR RANGE OF SIMULATORS<br />

AT A NUMBER OF<br />

MOTORSPORTS SHOWS<br />

51


LO CA L A R E A<br />

What’s On Local<br />

YOUR GUIDE TO THE BEST OF WHAT’S ON IN AND AROUND<br />

SUTTON COLDFIELD, LICHFIELD, WALSALL AND BEYOND<br />

WHAT: Showaddywaddy<br />

WHERE: Sutton Coldfield<br />

Town Hall<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 4<br />

Some 45 years after forming<br />

in Leicester, Showaddywaddy<br />

are on tour in Sutton Coldfield<br />

this month for a show at the Town Hall. Famed for their<br />

coordinated dance moves, colourful suits and catchy<br />

50s and 60s rock and roll songs, the band are regularly<br />

described as the ‘hardest working band in the UK’.<br />

Original members Romeo Challenger and Rod Deas<br />

lead the six-piece line up, which is managed by another<br />

original member, Dave Bartram.<br />

Their appearance on TV’s New Faces’ All-Winners<br />

Final in December 1973 led to a flurry of record deal<br />

offers. Their first single, Hey Rock and Roll, on the Bell<br />

Records label reached number two in the UK charts in<br />

April 1974, followed by a further 22 chart hits and an<br />

incredible 209 weeks in the UK singles chart. Tickets,<br />

priced at £25 and £27 are available from the Town<br />

Hall’s Box office on 0121 296 9543 or online at<br />

www.townhallsuttoncoldfield.co.uk<br />

WHAT:<br />

Drive-In movies<br />

WHERE:<br />

Beacon Park, Lichfield<br />

WHEN:<br />

<strong>May</strong> 12 and 19<br />

Drive-in movie nights return to<br />

Lichfield this month with two cinema classics showing<br />

on Beacon Park’s giant inflatable screen.<br />

First up is cult British comedy, The Italian Job, on<br />

<strong>May</strong> 12, followed by Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey<br />

having the time of their lives in Dirty Dancing on <strong>May</strong><br />

19. Simply tune in your car radio to hear the soundtrack<br />

and remember to leave plenty of room for movie meals<br />

and cinema snacks. There will also be a reserved area in<br />

front of the cars for on foot ticket holders to bring along<br />

chairs and blankets to enjoy the film outside.<br />

Entry is by pre-booked ticket only; tickets cost £25<br />

per car with a maximum of four people, £8 on foot<br />

including headset hire, or £5 on foot without headset<br />

hire. Headsets also require a £15 refundable deposit.<br />

For more information call 01543 308867 or visit www.<br />

lichfieldhistoricparks.co.uk<br />

WHAT: Walk About Festival<br />

WHERE: Around Sutton Coldfield<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 26 to June 3<br />

Step out with the Sutton Coldfield Ramblers<br />

as part of the nationwide Walk About Festival<br />

this summer to discover the best of our<br />

area, and uncover the hidden gems on your<br />

doorstep.<br />

Tony Le Feuvre, of the Sutton Coldfield<br />

Ramblers, said: “Anyone who loves walking<br />

will know it’s the best way to discover the<br />

world around you – it could be an amazing<br />

secret view, a quirky old building tucked down<br />

a side-street, or simply a fantastic new walking route. We<br />

know lots of great spots and want to share them with<br />

others.”<br />

Sutton Coldfield Ramblers are running several walks<br />

throughout the festival including: <strong>May</strong> 27 - a walk around<br />

the Warwickshire countryside to discover the hidden gem<br />

of John Wesley’s tree; <strong>May</strong> 31 - a two-mile family walk<br />

around Sutton Park; June 3 - a ten-mile walk around the<br />

Leicestershire countryside to discover Bruntingthorpe<br />

airfield; and also June 3 - a walk through the Newhall<br />

Valley, a green corridor through Sutton Coldfield. For<br />

more details call Tony Le Feuvre on 0121 354 7759 or<br />

visit www.suttoncoldfieldramblers.co.uk<br />

52


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STEAK<br />

& Date night<br />

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MONDAYS 5-9pm<br />

Two Staffordshire Steaks &<br />

a Bottle of Pom’s Wine<br />

£35<br />

View Menus<br />

online<br />

pomskitchen.uk<br />

Book a<br />

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EMAIL: INFO@POMSKITCHEN.UK<br />

Would you like<br />

your restaurant or<br />

forthcoming event<br />

featured in J’aime?<br />

CONTACT JAN ASHLEY ON 07388 335931<br />

OR EMAIL EDITOR@JAIMEMAGAZINE.COM<br />

J’AIME<br />

/jaimemagazine<br />

@jaimemagazine<br />

www.jaimemagazine.com<br />

アパート<br />

夀 䔀 䄀 刀 匀 伀 䘀<br />

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昀 椀 琀


WHAT: Consequences of War<br />

WHERE: Lichfield Cathedral<br />

WHEN: Until June 24<br />

A poignant, moving and revealing free exhibition<br />

which draws attention to the effect of World War One,<br />

Consequences of War will explore the immediate<br />

aftermath of the conflict and the quest and failure of the<br />

search for peace over the subsequent century.<br />

The exhibition combines reflections of conflict from a<br />

local and national perspective and involves the work of<br />

some of Britain’s most significant post-war artists, which<br />

will question our notions of peace and war. Artists whose<br />

work will be on display include Henry Moore, Paul Nash,<br />

Graham Sutherland and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.<br />

Other exhibits will include original work by the<br />

Cathedral’s Artist in Residence Peter Walker, items from<br />

the Staffordshire Regiment Museum, Military Valour<br />

awards and trench art.<br />

To mark this special exhibition, there will also be a series<br />

of lectures throughout <strong>May</strong> on the consequences of World<br />

War One on music, art, society and religion. On <strong>May</strong><br />

2, Dr Philip Lancaster will discuss music in the wake of<br />

World War One in his lecture, Modes of War; on <strong>May</strong> 16<br />

Dr Hannah Higham. curator of Henry Moore Collections<br />

and Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation in<br />

Hertfordshire, talks about Henry Moore’s art during the<br />

transitional post-war period; on <strong>May</strong> 22, Professor Gary<br />

Sheffield looks at the social consequences of the First<br />

World War; and rounding off the series on <strong>May</strong> 30 is<br />

Lichfield’s Very Reverend Adrian Dorber with Conflict<br />

and Faith: the impact of the First World War.<br />

Tickets are £5 to each lecture, or a season pass is £15, and<br />

are available online or at The Shop at No. 9, The Close.<br />

For more details visit www.lichfield-cathedral.org<br />

54


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LO CA L A R E A<br />

What’s<br />

Competition<br />

on Second City<br />

A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND BEST<br />

EVENTS TO COME TO BIRMINGHAM THIS MONTH<br />

WHAT: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds<br />

WHERE: Arena Birmingham<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 1<br />

Noel Gallagher’s<br />

High Flying<br />

Birds soar into<br />

the slipstream of<br />

exhilarating new<br />

album, Who Built<br />

The Moon?,<br />

for a return to<br />

Birmingham this month as part of their UK and<br />

Ireland arena tour.<br />

The keenly anticipated follow-up to the platinumselling<br />

Chasing Yesterday, Noel Gallagher’s High<br />

Flying Birds’ third album Who Built The Moon?<br />

Was released in November to critical acclaim. While<br />

flowing from the same, molten core of melody,<br />

songwriting craft and towering self-belief, the album<br />

is poised between experimental and a jukebox of<br />

ageless influence following a bracing, two-year<br />

creative collaboration with renowned producer, DJ<br />

and composer, David Holmes. For more details visit<br />

www.arenabham.co.uk<br />

WHAT: A Matter of Life and Death<br />

WHERE: Various locations citywide<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 10 to 26<br />

A Birmingham arts and culture<br />

festival is tackling the taboos of<br />

death and dying with a programme<br />

of theatre, film, food, art and crafts,<br />

exhibitions, tours and discussion. A Matter of Life and<br />

Death, from <strong>May</strong> 10 to 26, is aiming to encourage open<br />

and honest conversation about death and dying through<br />

a variety of events aimed at all ages.<br />

Organised by BrumYODO, a diverse community<br />

collective featuring health professionals, undertakers,<br />

artists, hospice staff and lawyers, it takes in a range of<br />

venues including the Electric Cinema, The Coffin Works,<br />

Library of Birmingham, Birmingham Museum and Art<br />

Gallery, Ort Gallery and the John Lewis Community<br />

Hub. Kicking off the festival is Annabel de Vetten of<br />

Conjurer’s Kitchen with a Movie Taste-Along to the cult<br />

horror Sleepy Hollow, starring Johnny Depp. Audiences<br />

will be biting into delicious treats inspired by the Tim<br />

Burton film.<br />

For full details of all the A Matter of Life and Death<br />

events and tickets see www.brumyodo.org.uk<br />

WHAT: ART<br />

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 21 to 26<br />

ART is a phenomenon and one of the most successful<br />

plays ever. Having opened in 1996, it took both the<br />

West End and Broadway by storm, won Olivier, Tony,<br />

Moliere and every other major theatre award, and has<br />

been packing in audiences worldwide for more than<br />

20 years.<br />

When Serge spends an extortionate amount of money<br />

on an all white modernist painting, his close friends<br />

Marc and Yvan are baffled. But does their violent<br />

reactions to this provocative canvas mirror more<br />

dangerous antagonisms towards each other? Yasmina<br />

Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and<br />

tolerance is a masterpiece.<br />

The all-star cast features Nigel Havers, Olivier Awardwinning<br />

Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson. For<br />

more details visit<br />

www.birminghamhippodrome.com<br />

56


WHAT:<br />

Legally Blonde the Musical<br />

WHERE:<br />

New Alexandra Theatre<br />

WHEN:<br />

<strong>May</strong> 21 to 26<br />

Legally Blonde the Musical<br />

brings its brand new UK tour<br />

to Birmingham this month,<br />

starring Lucie Jones as Elle<br />

Woods opposite Rita Simons<br />

as Paulette and Bill Ward as Professor Callahan.<br />

The smash hit Broadway and West End Musical based<br />

on the best loved movie follows beautiful and popular<br />

sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered<br />

and is passionate about pink. When she is dumped<br />

by her boyfriend Warner Huntingdon III for a more<br />

serious girlfriend she puts down the credit cards and<br />

picks up the books. Packing up her trusty pooch,<br />

Bruiser, she bags herself a place at the prestigious<br />

Harvard Law School to try and win him back. With<br />

the support of her new friends she learns that you can<br />

be both smart and fashionable. For more details visit<br />

www.atgtickets.com/birmingham<br />

WHAT:<br />

Our Country’s Good<br />

WHERE:<br />

Birmingham REP<br />

WHEN:<br />

<strong>May</strong> 23 to June 2<br />

In 1787, ships each<br />

with over 700 convicts on board set sail on an eight<br />

month voyage. When they arrive in Australia, their<br />

survival is by no means certain: supplies are running<br />

out, the convicts are stealing food or trying to escape<br />

and the guards are threatening mutiny.<br />

Our Country’s Good tells the extraordinary true<br />

story of a group of convicts and a young officer<br />

who rehearse and perform a play – Australia’s first<br />

theatrical production. With opposition from the<br />

officers and a leading lady who may be hanged, the<br />

odds are stacked against them.<br />

Our Country’s Good is a touring production made<br />

in co-production with Ramps on the Moon, and<br />

the production features the creative use of audio<br />

description, signing, and captions. For more details<br />

visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk<br />

WHAT:<br />

A Change<br />

is Gonna<br />

Come<br />

WHERE:<br />

Birmingham<br />

Town Hall<br />

WHEN:<br />

<strong>May</strong> 29<br />

Four of the most gifted soul, jazz and rap artists<br />

explore the power of protest songs in this not-to-bemissed<br />

collaboration. Leading an incredible sextet are<br />

supremely talented queens of their trade: the soulful<br />

Carleen Anderson, jazz virtuosos Nikki Yeoh and<br />

Nubya Garcia, and Mercury Prize-winning rapper<br />

Speech Debelle.<br />

On stage together for the first time, they will perform<br />

unique interpretations of iconic songs from the time of<br />

the civil rights through to today. This special concert<br />

also features powerful new compositions by Anderson<br />

and Yeoh highlighting the ongoing fight for equal<br />

human rights. For more details visit www.thsh.co.uk<br />

WHAT: Stomp<br />

WHERE: Birmingham Hippodrome<br />

WHEN: <strong>May</strong> 29 to June 2<br />

The unstoppable smash-hit is back for one week only<br />

and it’s fresher, faster and funnier than ever! Stomp<br />

takes familiar objects like newspapers, bins, plastic<br />

bags and even the kitchen sink and uses them to create<br />

a universal language of rhythm and movement that’s<br />

playful, thrilling and exploding with energy.<br />

From its humble beginnings in Brighton in 1991,<br />

Stomp has grown into a truly global phenomenon that<br />

will set your toes tapping and your pulse racing. Stomp<br />

combines dance, comedy and music into an experience<br />

like no other – don’t miss it! For more details visit<br />

www.birminghamhipodrome.com<br />

GET INVOLVED: Have you got a local event<br />

you’d like to promote? Then we’d love to hear<br />

from you. From charity nights to local theatre<br />

productions and more, send details to editor@<br />

jaimemagazine.com and you could see your<br />

event on these pages.<br />

57


FA S H I O N<br />

Jean genius<br />

A PERENNIAL WARDROBE FAVOURITE, THERE’S A DENIM OUT THERE FOR EVERYONE.<br />

AND THIS SEASON’S STYLES GO BEYOND JEANS TO BRING A DENIM TWIST TO ALL AREAS<br />

OF YOUR WARDROBE, SAYS AMY NORBURY<br />

DENIM never really goes out of fashion. Genderless and versatile,<br />

it’s safe to say denim is a fabric which suits everyone, regardless of<br />

size, shape and age, and we’ve all got at least some denim pieces<br />

lurking in our wardrobes.<br />

With that said, there’s definitely a swathe of trends which come and<br />

go, so make sure you look beyond the jeans which are already in<br />

your drawer and stay up to date with what’s fresh for the new season.<br />

After last year’s flirtation with ‘mom’ jeans, SS18 sees skinnies back<br />

as the silhouette of choice, with a particular emphasis on highwaisted<br />

styles. A timeless classic, skinny jeans are actually one of the<br />

most easy--to-wear and flattering cuts, with high-waisted versions<br />

particularly good at accentuating your waist and sculpting your midsection.<br />

If you’re after something a bit different, look out for embellishments,<br />

lace trims and floral fabric patches create a sweet summer vibe,<br />

while zip detail and scatterings of metal studs, pearls or even sequins<br />

seriously up the glam factor.<br />

But to get to the heart of this season’s denim, you need to look<br />

beyond the jeans and embrace the acid wash and indigo in all areas<br />

of your wardrobe.<br />

Like the perfect pair of jeans, a great denim dress works for day or<br />

night, depending on how you accessorise it. A simple shirt dress is a<br />

real transitional hero piece; team with fringed ankle boots on chillier<br />

days or with suede sandals for summer style.<br />

If you want a change from your jeans, dungarees are a great<br />

summer style staple; layer with a crisp white shirt or blouse for<br />

smart style, or team with a simple T-shirt or vest for casual cool.<br />

Cut-off dungarees and dungaree dresses are also versatile wardrobe<br />

additions.<br />

Last summer was all about distressed, oversized acid wash denim<br />

jackets, and while fashion still favours a vintage vibe, now it’s about<br />

cropped styles. For something slightly more dressy, a neat collarless<br />

denim jacket with pocket detailing is the casual equivalent of a<br />

boucle blazer and is the ideal cover-up for a floaty boho maxi.<br />

When it comes to colour, pretty much anything goes. Classic indigo<br />

and black are perfect for creating a smarter look, particularly in<br />

tailored and clean-cut styles. Paler washes are ideal as we head into<br />

the summer months, or even experiment with white and pastel<br />

versions of your favourite styles to inject a fresh vibe into your denim<br />

collection.<br />

PRAIRIE DRESS, £28,<br />

AND JACKET, £36,<br />

DOROTHY PERKINS<br />

58


£230<br />

£60<br />

LEANNE CHAMBRAY<br />

DRESS, FATFACE<br />

KSUBI PINAFORE<br />

DRESS, HARVEY<br />

NICHOLS<br />

RUFFLE DENIM<br />

JACKET, LABEL LAB AT<br />

HOUSE OF FRASER<br />

£1,230<br />

£49.50<br />

SEE BY CHLOE<br />

DARK BLUE DENIM<br />

ESPADRILLE WEDGE<br />

SANDALS, HARVEY<br />

NICHOLS<br />

£170<br />

BALMAIN BLUE HIGH<br />

RISE SKINNY JEANS,<br />

HARVEY NICHOLS<br />

£39<br />

DEE DENIM TRAINER,<br />

WHITE STUFF<br />

£45<br />

POPPER DETAIL TEE,<br />

LABEL LAB AT HOUSE<br />

OF FRASER<br />

HUSH DENIM<br />

DRESS, £79.50,<br />

OLIVER BONAS<br />

DISTRACTION<br />

DENIM DRESS,<br />

£69.50, OLIVER<br />

BONAS<br />

DENIM JACKET, £140,<br />

BETTY BARCLAY


FA S H I O N<br />

Best foot forward<br />

JILL HARTLEY, CO-OWNER AND DIRECTOR OF NERO E BIANCO EXCLUSIVE FASHION AND<br />

BRIDAL BOUTIQUE AT BARTON MARINA, SAYS IT’S TIME TO THINK ABOUT SUMMER FOOTWEARE<br />

We’ve all had enough of winter boots and if the weather forecast is to be noted, then we are looking forward to<br />

a sunny <strong>May</strong> and we need to get our feet into something lighter and brighter. This season the big designers have<br />

gone all out in metallic and monochrome.<br />

The great thing about footwear is it can really change a look, bring old outfits back to life and we can reinvent<br />

ourselves with a pair of heels or a trendy trainer.<br />

Often with a fashionable shoe there is a compromise on comfort; so many times I’ve heard the saying ‘car to<br />

restaurant only shoes’ - which I think most women can relate to!<br />

Personally, I adore shoes and have suffered in the past for the sake of fashion or to match an outfit. So, I decided<br />

to take on an important mission and to find footwear that has comfort and fashion at the same time? Sounds<br />

reasonable to me!<br />

Here we go with the first of my finds...<br />

Fringe benefits<br />

These two are beautiful soft Italian leather with the up-to-date metallic look<br />

and tassel detail - so stylish.<br />

This cute little shoe has a<br />

kitten heel and offers the<br />

elegance of a stiletto without<br />

the pain, the shape of this<br />

shoe is idea for an average to<br />

slim foot and is high enough<br />

at the front to pass over any<br />

lumps and bumps.<br />

The difference here<br />

is the square toe gives<br />

room for an average<br />

to wider foot and a<br />

block heel is extremely<br />

comfortable to wear.<br />

Gladiators ready<br />

Now this is a pair of sandals! Again, soft<br />

Italian leather with the on-trend metallic;<br />

here we see the silver, gold and rose gold<br />

colours work so well together. The block<br />

heel supports the foot so although there is<br />

height, there is comfort, and the softness<br />

of the leather moulds around the foot so<br />

elegantly and offers support to the foot<br />

and ankle. This is our elegant gladiator<br />

sandal that you can wear with any outfit<br />

to give the wow factor.<br />

60


www.neroebianco.co.uk<br />

Nero e Bianco Exclusive Fashion & Bridal<br />

Barton Marina Burton upon Trent DE13 8AS<br />

01283 346704


Peep show<br />

This lovely peep toe shoe is again made from Italian<br />

leather and has insole comfort. The shape of the shoe<br />

envelopes the foot and the hidden platform reduces<br />

the heel height so there is still the elegance but with the<br />

comfort factor.<br />

This leather is iridescent and what is amazing is whatever<br />

colour you wear it will reflect that colour as the light<br />

catches the shoe. So essentially you can wear this shoe with<br />

absolutely any colour and it will work.<br />

Winning wedge<br />

Now every girl needs a wedge sandal for summer. This stylish<br />

wedge is perfect for comfort and style. The criss-cross holds the<br />

foot well and this style has a cushioned insole. We love this sandal<br />

for summer days and nights, dress up with a floaty dress or white<br />

skinnies and a snazzy top and wear casually with shorts and T-shirt.<br />

So versatile, Italian leather with a little bit of sparkle – wonderful!<br />

Casual style<br />

Here we go with our favourite contemporary ‘trainer’ shoe with a<br />

slight hidden wedge and zip sides so once you have laced for fit, the zip<br />

can be used easily for putting on and taking off. The Italian leather is<br />

cleverly structured to hold and support the foot well, so it is functionable,<br />

comfortable and super stylish. Don’t just wear this shoe for walks in the<br />

park; team up with a long or midi dress for a really cool look.<br />

Mono magic<br />

Well heeled<br />

We had to find a stiletto in this mission for style and comfort! Some of<br />

you ladies will always, always, go for a stiletto to feel sophisticated, so<br />

here is a stiletto with comfort insole and moulded to encapsulate the<br />

foot for maximum support. We have gone with the skin monochrome<br />

with a sheen, so again great leather, style and totally on-trend.<br />

Nero e Bianco is Italian for black and white, so we had to have<br />

a signature summer sandal. Here it is, the black and white<br />

block heel sandal with a personality! This is such an incredible<br />

Italian leather sandal with comfort that makes a statement and<br />

can be worn at any age. It’s fun and funky, just what we need<br />

after the long winter.<br />

Enjoy you summer footwear ladies – comfortably!<br />

62


B E AU T Y<br />

Dare to bare!<br />

ONE OF THE MOST TALKED ABOUT TRENDS FROM THE SS18 CATWALKS WAS NOT THE COLOUR PALETTES<br />

OR PRINTS; INSTEAD IT WAS THE FACT THAT SOME DESIGNERS OPTED FOR A COMPLETE NO MAKEUP LOOK<br />

TO SHOWCASE THEIR COLLECTIONS. LANVIN, RODARTE, ALEXANDER WANG AND VICTORIA BECKHAM<br />

PLUMPED FOR THE SERIOUSLY MINIMAL, CONFIRMING HEALTHY LOOKING SKIN IS AS BIG A TREND AS<br />

STATEMENT MAKEUP. THIS SPRING YOU CAN PROVE LESS REALLY IS MORE… JUST MAKE SURE YOUR<br />

COMPLEXION IS UP TO THE JOB! WE ASKED LISA PIDDINGTON, FROM HARVEY NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM,<br />

TO PICK THIS SEASON’S SKINCARE SAVIOURS TO LEAVE YOU LOOKING NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL.<br />

A great multi-tasker, Pestle &<br />

Mortar’s Pure Hyaluronic<br />

Acid Serum (£36) targets<br />

fine lines, dullness and<br />

dehydration restoring a<br />

healthy glow, plumpness<br />

and radiance.<br />

The Grande<br />

Dame of skincare,<br />

La Mer’s The<br />

Concentrate<br />

(£270) helps renew<br />

damaged skin while<br />

special revitalising<br />

ingredients help<br />

strengthen and<br />

protect.<br />

The must-have Pixi Glow Tonic<br />

(£10) works to exfoliate, smooth<br />

and brighten the complexion for a<br />

healthy glow. Alcohol-free, it’s gentle<br />

on all skin types.<br />

Magnify the beauty<br />

of your eyes with<br />

Estée Lauder’s<br />

Advanced Night<br />

Repair Eye<br />

Concentrate<br />

Matrix,<br />

(£49). This<br />

ultra-nourishing,<br />

strengthening<br />

formula helps<br />

reduce the appearance of fine<br />

lines, puffiness and dark circles.<br />

Previse’s Ozone Defence<br />

Nutrify Serum (£49) is infused<br />

with vitamins B5 and hyaluronic<br />

acid to bind moisture to the skin<br />

and lock-out airborne pollutants,<br />

while vitamins B3 and C help fight<br />

oxidative damage.<br />

NARS’ Instant Line &<br />

Pore Perfector (£20) uses<br />

microspheres and hyaluronic<br />

acid to plump and smooth<br />

wrinkles and reduce the size<br />

of pores, leaving the surface<br />

of the skin soft and even.<br />

ALL PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE BEAUTY HALL AT HARVEY<br />

NICHOLS BIRMINGHAM AND ONLINE AT HARVEYNICHOLS.COM<br />

63


I N T H E N E W S<br />

Say ‘I Do’ to dance<br />

Ever sat watching the pros and celebrities on Strictly<br />

Come Dancing and wishes you could move as<br />

effortlessly and stylishly on the dancefloor? One<br />

Midlands business is making it their mission to help<br />

everyone find their dancing feet.<br />

Run by dance teacher Laura Evans, I Do Dances<br />

aims to make partner dancing easy. Laura provides<br />

one-to-one tuition in your own home. Whether you<br />

want to make your first wedding dance that little bit<br />

extra special or whether you want your two left feet<br />

working together, Laura’s personalised home lessons<br />

will get you whirling round that dance floor together.<br />

Laura says: “I found dance at a low point in my life<br />

and without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love<br />

passing my knowledge onto others and seeing their<br />

faces light up when they learn something new. It’s not<br />

just a job for me dancing is my hobby, my passion<br />

and my life.”<br />

Laura has more than 10 years’ dance experience<br />

and is a fully qualified instructor. She specialises in<br />

modern jive, a dance style derived from swing,<br />

lindy hop, rock and roll, salsa and others. The<br />

main innovation with modern jive is simplifying<br />

the footwork, making it the perfect style for<br />

dancers of any ability, from complete novice to<br />

dancefloor expert. Laura has won many modern jive<br />

competitions including the world championships at<br />

the world-famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom.<br />

Whether it’s a wedding, birthday party or special<br />

events, or you just want some help on your the<br />

dancefloor moves, Laura can help. For more<br />

information call 07904 990114 or visit<br />

www.idodances.co.uk<br />

A charity boost from Lichfield auctioneer<br />

Auctioneer Richard Winterton has handed over a<br />

£1,000 cheque to the We Love Lichfield fund.<br />

The money has come from the family firm<br />

auctioning off items donated to charity by customers.<br />

Mr Winterton invited We Love Lichfield patron<br />

Simon Price to his salerooms at the Lichfield<br />

Auction House, Fradley Park, in April to make the<br />

presentation. The Bargain Hunt regular said he was<br />

delighted to have had We Love Lichfield as one of<br />

the auction house’s chosen charities for the past year.<br />

“It’s a real privilege to be able to present £1,000 to<br />

such an important fund which helps so many small<br />

local clubs and projects,” said Mr Winterton. “The<br />

work Simon does with his colleagues is outstanding<br />

and we all wish it continued success.”<br />

We Love Lichfield is a local fund providing small<br />

grants to a wide range of projects across Lichfield<br />

district. All donations are invested through a<br />

permanent endowment fund by registered charity<br />

The Community Foundation For Staffordshire. We<br />

Love Lichfield considers all applications from local<br />

groups and makes presentations to the organisations<br />

chosen twice a year.<br />

Richard Winterton Auctioneers is offering free<br />

valuations at the Stone House Hotel in Stone on<br />

Wednesday, <strong>May</strong> 9, 10am-2pm. Free valuations also<br />

take place from 9.30am-4pm every Tuesday at The<br />

Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley<br />

Park WS13 8NF. Telephone 01543 251081 or<br />

email lichfield@richardwinterton.co.uk.<br />

The next Decorative and Design Sale is on July 11.<br />

Final entries are being invited until Tuesday, June 19.<br />

64


Life in the fast lane<br />

M OTO R S<br />

THIS MONTH J’AIME’S MOTORING CORRESPONDENT AND RESIDENT RACING<br />

DRIVER MARTIN PLOWMAN GOES FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF SIGHT<br />

THE TEAM HAS THREE CUSTOM-<br />

BUILT DUAL-CONTROL CARS<br />

After more than 20 years in the motorsport industry<br />

I have pretty much seen it all and am not easily<br />

impressed, but this week I was introduced to a guy<br />

and an organisation that blew me away.<br />

The guy in question is a gentleman called Mike<br />

Newman. Mike is a professional driver and has<br />

appeared in several adverts for major car companies<br />

around the world. In 2011 he drove a modified<br />

Nissan-GTR at more than 200mph. What makes<br />

his achievement so impressive is that Mike was born<br />

blind.<br />

Mike is a trailblazer in the blind community and has<br />

been breaking down physical barriers ever since he<br />

first rode an Aprilla Falco 1000c motorbike at more<br />

than 89mph back in 2001! He has since switched his<br />

attention to four wheels, smashing multiple landspeed<br />

records and eventually becoming the first blind<br />

person to break the 200mph barrier in 2014.<br />

Mike’s story resonated a lot with me. Growing up<br />

he always dreamt of becoming a racing driver,<br />

much in the same way I spent my whole childhood<br />

dreaming of racing. Fate would have it that Mike’s<br />

blindness presented a massive physical barrier to him<br />

achieving that goal, but Mike’s story is one of sheer<br />

determination against impossible odds.<br />

What he has achieved in the last 15 years is nothing<br />

short of awe-inspiring and whether he intended to<br />

be or not he has become a hero and a pioneer for<br />

the blind and disabled community as a whole. The<br />

next stage in Mike’s adventure was to find a way to<br />

give back and create opportunities for the blind and<br />

disabled to do what they never thought was possible.<br />

In 2012 Mike founded a charity called Speed of<br />

Sight alongside John Galloway. An organisation<br />

65


committed to the opportunity for all, Speed of Sight<br />

hosts driving experience days for adults and children<br />

with disabilities and their families and friends,<br />

inspiring self-confidence, social interaction, physical<br />

and mental wellbeing throughout the UK.<br />

When Mike questions the many blind or disabled<br />

people he meets during speaking and sponsor events<br />

about what they would love to do if they were able<br />

to, the ability to drive a car is always near top of the<br />

list.<br />

To drive a car is a luxury that I guarantee most of us<br />

take for granted, but take that privilege away and you<br />

lose much; much more than just the ability to drive.<br />

For starters, you lose freedom and independence<br />

to travel, to meet people or do things whenever,<br />

wherever you want. That feeling of Isolation from<br />

the general community has some pretty serious<br />

knock-on effects such as low self-esteem, depression<br />

and anxiety which of course can spiral out of control<br />

if you don’t have a strong support system around<br />

you.<br />

Speed Of Sight’s mission is to create<br />

opportunities for people with any<br />

disability to drive. The team currently<br />

has three custom-built dual-control<br />

cars - two race cars and one offroad<br />

buggy. The cars, named after<br />

Mike’s guide dogs, are specially<br />

designed with dual controls and<br />

twin steering wheels. An instructor<br />

will always sit alongside the driver,<br />

but essentially the driver is fully in<br />

control at all times and the instructor<br />

only intervenes to help steer back<br />

on course if needed.<br />

The remarkable thing<br />

about the Speed of Sight<br />

experience is that it is<br />

built on communication<br />

and trust on a much<br />

deeper level. The<br />

instructor needs to have<br />

trust in the driver to listen<br />

to instructions and of<br />

course the driver needs to<br />

have complete faith in the<br />

instructions given to him!<br />

Speed of Sight<br />

experience days take<br />

place countrywide at<br />

racing circuits, off road<br />

tracks or any venue with<br />

a large enough car park<br />

or area where a circuit can be created. In addition<br />

to their own program, I am looking into ways that<br />

Velocity Track Days, the company I co-own, can<br />

help boost their fundraising efforts, so watch this<br />

space!<br />

The great work that Speed of Sight does would not<br />

be possible without the generosity of volunteers<br />

giving their time, sponsors pitching in free products<br />

or corporations giving money to keep their wheels<br />

in motion. If you know someone who could benefit<br />

from an experience or if you want to help out in<br />

any way please check out www.SpeedofSight.org for<br />

more information.<br />

A Speed of Sight experience has helped change<br />

hundreds of lives already. They give people the<br />

chance to dream, expose their senses to the sound<br />

of a roaring engine and smell of burning rubber,<br />

and for 15 whole minutes, a sense of a life without<br />

limitations.<br />

SPEED OF SIGHT’S MISSION IS<br />

TO CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR<br />

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES TO DRIVE<br />

MIKE NEWMAN FOUNDED<br />

CHARITY SPEED OF SIGHT<br />

66


TRACK DAYS<br />

REDEFINED<br />

Velocity is a new breed of track day company offering the chance to race real racing cars on the UK’s finest<br />

circuits, tutored by Le Mans Winner Martin Plowman and BTCC and Emmerdale Star Kelvin Fletcher.<br />

There’s no better way to engage with clients or reward loyal teams. Choose from one of our great packages<br />

or let us build you a bespoke day.<br />

GET IN TOUCH TODAY AND LET US BUILD<br />

THE PERFECT EXPERIENCE<br />

www.velocitytrackdays.co.uk 0115 888 3288 info@velocitytrackdays.co.uk

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